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Don't Be Ashamed to Say You Didn't Get Much: Redistributive Effects of Information Disclosure in Donations and Inequity-Aversion in Charitable Giving

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  • L. Becchetti
  • V. Pelligra

    ()

Abstract

We run a modified dictator game experiment to investigate the determinants of donation choices to philanthropic organizations. We find experimentally that the adoption of a simple form of accountability such as the disclosure of information on the ranking of aggregate contributions received bythe organizations has important redistributive effects on donations, leading donors to reallocate significantly their giving from top to bottom performers. Our findings support the hypothesis that individuals have preferences on total donations and their "ideal" distribution and not just on their own giving. Policy consequences of our findings in terms of public and private contribution disclosure rules arediscussed.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Becchetti & V. Pelligra, 2011. "Don't Be Ashamed to Say You Didn't Get Much: Redistributive Effects of Information Disclosure in Donations and Inequity-Aversion in Charitable Giving," Working Paper CRENoS 201111, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. John Morgan, 2000. "Financing Public Goods by Means of Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 761-784.
    3. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    4. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
    5. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    6. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
    7. Randolph, William C, 1995. "Dynamic Income, Progressive Taxes, and the Timing of Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 709-738, August.
    8. David C. Ribar & Mark O. Wilhelm, 2002. "Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 425-457, April.
    9. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, "undated". "Do People Behave in Experiments as in the Field? � Evidence from Donations," IEW - Working Papers 248, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
    11. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Laury, Susan K., 2002. "Private costs and public benefits: unraveling the effects of altruism and noisy behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 255-276, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Dare per avere e dare per dare: due universi paralleli," wp.comunite 0080, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; strategic information; charitable-giving;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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