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Charitable giving and intermediation


  • Nadine Chlaß

    () (Department of Economics, University of Turku, Finland and University of Jena, Germany)

  • Lata Gangadharan

    () (Department of Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

  • Kristy Jones

    () (Department of Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)


Charitable donations are often made through intermediaries who can fund themselves from these same donations. Donors who purchase charitable output through an intermediary incur a principal-agent problem with unobservable prices. We compare charitable giving in an experiment with and without intermediation. Different donor types emerge: 41 per-cent of all donors reduce their donation in response to intermediation, 59 per-cent of all donors give as much or more with than without intermediation. The price of charitable output does not explain these types and appears to only matter after taking characteristics of donors' moral judgement into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Nadine Chlaß & Lata Gangadharan & Kristy Jones, 2015. "Charitable giving and intermediation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-021, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2015-021

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bittschi, Benjamin & Borgloh, Sarah & Wigger, Berthold U., 2016. "Philanthropy in a secular society," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-021, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Luigi Butera & Daniel Houser, 2016. "Delegating Altruism: Toward an Understanding of Agency in Charitable Giving," Working Papers 1060, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.

    More about this item


    charitable giving; altruism; intermediation; charitable institutions; price elasticity; moral judgement reasoning;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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