IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Do Sympathy Biases Induce Charitable Giving? The Effects of Advertising Content

Listed author(s):
Registered author(s):

    We randomize advertising content motivated by the psychology literature on sympathy generation and framing effects in mailings to about 185,000 prospective new donors in India. We find significant impact on the number of donors and amounts donated consistent with sympathy biases such as the “identifiable victim,” “in-group” and “reference dependence.” A monthly reframing of the ask amount increases donors and amount donated relative to daily reframing. A second field experiment targeted to past donors, finds that the effect of sympathy bias on giving is smaller in percentage terms but statistically and economically highly significant in terms of the magnitude of additional dollars raised. Methodologically, the paper complements the work of behavioral scholars by adopting an empirical researchers’ lens of measuring relative effect sizes and economic relevance of multiple behavioral theoretical constructs in the sympathy bias and charity domain within one field setting. Beyond the benefit of conceptual replications, the effect sizes provide guidance to managers on which behavioral theories are most managerially and economically relevant when developing advertising content.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d19/d1940.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1940.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 52 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2014
    Date of revision: Jan 2016
    Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1940
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

    Phone: (203) 432-3702
    Fax: (203) 432-6167
    Web page: http://cowles.yale.edu/

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1940. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew C. Regan)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.