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Hey Look at Me: The Effect of Giving Circles on Giving

Author

Listed:
  • Dean Karlan

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Margaret A. McConnell

    (Harvard School of Public Health)

Abstract

Theories abound for why individuals give to charity. We conduct a field experiment with donors to a Yale University service club to test the impact of a promise of public recognition on giving. Some may claim that they respond to an offer of public recognition not to improve their social standing, but rather to motivate others to give. To tease apart these two theories,we conduct a laboratory experiment with undergraduates, and found no evidence to support the alternative, altruistic motivation. We conclude that charitable gifts increase in response to the promise of public recognition primarily because of individuals' desire to improve their social image.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Karlan & Margaret A. McConnell, 2012. "Hey Look at Me: The Effect of Giving Circles on Giving," Working Papers 1006, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1006
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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp1006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David E. Allen & Michael McAleer & Abhay K. Singh, 2014. "Machine News and Volatility: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the TRNA Sentiment Series," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-014/III, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Guodong Gao & Tianshu Sun & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Social Interactions: A Large Field Expeiment," Natural Field Experiments 00571, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Dwenger, Nadja & Kleven, Henrik & Rasul, Imran & Rincke, Johannes, 2014. "Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance. Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Germany," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100389, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Jack, B. Kelsey, 2014. "No margin, no mission? A field experiment on incentives for public service delivery," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-17.
    5. Anya Samek & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2017. "Selective Recognition: How to Recognize Donors to Increase Charitable Giving," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1489-1496, July.
    6. Anthony B. Atkinson & Peter G. Backus & John Micklewright & Cathy Pharoah & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "Charitable giving for overseas development: UK trends over a quarter century," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, pages 167-190.
    7. Clingingsmith, David & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Status and the Demand for Visible Goods: Experimental Evidence on Conspicuous Consumption," MPRA Paper 68202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Dean Karlan & John A List, 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People’s Donations to Fund Public Goods?," Working Papers id:4880, eSocialSciences.
    9. Stephen Knowles & Maroš Servátka, 2014. "Transaction Costs, the Opportunity Cost of Time and Inertia in Charitable Giving," Working Papers in Economics 14/05, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    10. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/326 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Karlan, Dean & List, Jonathan A., 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People's Donations to Fund Public Goods?," Working Papers 101, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    12. Karlan, Dean & Wood, Daniel H., 2017. "The effect of effectiveness: Donor response to aid effectiveness in a direct mail fundraising experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 1-8.
    13. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Jack, B. Kelsey, 2014. "No margin, no mission? A field experiment on incentives for public service delivery," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-17.
    14. 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, pages 29-35.
    15. He, Haoran & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Are group members less inequality averse than individual decision makers?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 111-124.
    16. Jack, B. Kelsey & Recalde, María P., 2015. "Leadership and the voluntary provision of public goods: Field evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 80-93.
    17. Jana Gallus, 2016. "Fostering Voluntary Contributions to a Public Good: A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment at Wikipedia," Natural Field Experiments 00552, The Field Experiments Website.
    18. Dean Karlan and John A. List, 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People’s Donations to Fund Public Goods? - Working Paper 292," Working Papers 292, Center for Global Development.
    19. 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, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    20. Tianshu Sun & Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Social Interactions: a Large Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    endowments; prosocial behavior; experiments; voluntary contributions; social image;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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