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Toward an understanding of the economics of charity: Evidence from a field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Craig Landry
  • Andreas Lange
  • John List
  • Michael Price
  • Nicholas Rupp

Abstract

This study develops theory and uses a door-to-door fundraising field experiment to explore the economics of charity. We approached nearly 5000 households, randomly divided into four experimental treatments, to shed light on key issues on the demand side of charitable fundraising. Empirical results are in line with our theory: in gross terms, our lottery treatments raised considerably more money than our voluntary contributions treatments. Interestingly, we find that a one standard deviation increase in female solicitor physical attractiveness is similar to that of the lottery incentive--the magnitude of the estimated difference in gifts is roughly equivalent to the treatment effect of moving from our theoretically most attractive approach (lotteries) to our least attractive approach (voluntary contributions).

Suggested Citation

  • Craig Landry & Andreas Lange & John List & Michael Price & Nicholas Rupp, 2006. "Toward an understanding of the economics of charity: Evidence from a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00292, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00292
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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