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Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups

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  • Scharf, Kimberley
  • Smith, Sarah

Abstract

We study charitable giving within social groups. Exploiting a unique dataset, we establish three key relationships between social group size and fundraising outcomes: (i) a positive relationship between group size and the total number of donations; (ii) a negative relationship between group size and the amount given by each donor; (iii) no relationship between group size and the total amount raised by the fundraiser. We rule out classic free-riding to explain these relationships since the number of social group members is only a subset of total contributors. Instead, the findings are consistent with the notion that giving in social groups is motivated by “relational” warm glow.

Suggested Citation

  • Scharf, Kimberley & Smith, Sarah, 2014. "Relational Warm Glow and Giving in Social Groups," CEPR Discussion Papers 10051, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-282, May.
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    3. Mike Peacey & Michael Sanders, 2013. "Masked Heroes: endogenous anonymity in charitable giving," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/303, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-180, Spring.
    5. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    6. Kimberley Scharf, 2014. "Private Provision Of Public Goods And Information Diffusion In Social Groups," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1019-1042, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
    9. Sarah Smith & Frank Windmeijer & Edmund Wright, 2015. "Peer Effects in Charitable Giving: Evidence from the (Running) Field," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(585), pages 1053-1071, June.
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    11. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan & Wardell, Clarence, 2014. "Fundraising through online social networks: A field experiment on peer-to-peer solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 29-35.
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    13. Meer, Jonathan, 2011. "Brother, can you spare a dime? Peer pressure in charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 926-941.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sanders, Michael & Smith, Sarah, 2016. "Can simple prompts increase bequest giving? Field evidence from a legal call centre," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 179-191.
    2. Name-Correa, Alvaro J. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2016. "“Giving” in to social pressure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 99-116.
    3. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/326 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Michael Sanders & Sarah Smith, 2014. "A warm glow in the after life? The determinants of charitable bequests," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/326, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    charity; donations; fundraising; online giving; social groups; warm glow;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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