IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/17585.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Charitable Giving When Altruism and Similarity are Linked

Author

Listed:
  • Julio J. Rotemberg

Abstract

This paper presents a model in which anonymous charitable donations are rationalized by two human tendencies drawn from the psychology literature. The first is people's disproportionate disposition to help those they agree with while the second is the dependence of peoples' self-esteem on the extent to which they perceive that others agree with them. Government spending crowds out the charity that ensues from these forces only modestly. Moreover, people's donations tend to rise when others donate. In some equilibria of the model, poor people give little because they expect donations to come mainly from richer individuals. In others, donations by poor individuals constitute a large fraction of donations and this raises the incentive for poor people to donate. The model predicts that, under some circumstances, charities with identical objectives can differ by obtaining funds from distinct donor groups. The model then provides an interpretation for situations in which the number of charities rises while total donations are stagnant.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Charitable Giving When Altruism and Similarity are Linked," NBER Working Papers 17585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17585
    Note: PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17585.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    2. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
    3. Julio Rotemberg, 2009. "Attitude-dependent altruism, turnout and voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 223-244, July.
    4. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
    5. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2011. "Conspicuous generosity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1131-1143.
    6. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-180, Spring.
    7. 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.
    8. Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "The optimal treatment of tax expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2657-2684, December.
    9. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1997. "Rival charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 449-467, December.
    10. Aldashev, Gani & Verdier, Thierry, 2010. "Goodwill bazaar: NGO competition and giving to development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 48-63, January.
    11. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    12. 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.
    13. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
    14. David C. Ribar & Mark O. Wilhelm, 2002. "Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 425-457, April.
    15. Sugden, Robert, 1982. "On the Economics of Philanthropy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 341-350, June.
    16. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    17. Randolph, William C, 1995. "Dynamic Income, Progressive Taxes, and the Timing of Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 709-738, August.
    18. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-1028, September.
    19. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
    20. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1982. "Charitable Giving and “Excessive†Fundraising," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 193-212.
    21. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
    22. Romano, Richard & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2001. "Why charities announce donations: a positive perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 423-447, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why are the poor more generous?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-02-20 21:22:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ek, Claes, 2017. "Some causes are more equal than others? The effect of similarity on substitution in charitable giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 45-62.
    2. Ek, Claes, 2015. "Some Causes are More Equal than Others? Behavioral Spillovers in Charitable Giving," Working Papers 2015:29, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Cammie Hensley & Sonali Diddi & Karen Hyllegard, 2019. "Millennial Consumers’ Responses to Cause-Related Marketing in Support of LGBTQ Homeless Youth," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 8(8), pages 1-20, August.
    4. Nicolas J. Duquette & Enda Hargaden, 2018. "Inequality, Social Distance, and Giving," Working Papers 2018-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    5. Ek, Claes, 2015. "Prosocial Behavior and Policy Spillovers: A Multi-Activity Approach," Working Papers 2015:26, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 11 Sep 2017.
    6. Cueva, Carlos & Dessi, Roberta, 2012. "Charitable Giving, Self-Image and Personality," TSE Working Papers 12-342, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Ek, Claes, 2018. "Prosocial behavior and policy spillovers: A multi-activity approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 356-371.
    8. Vonțea Andreea-Angela, 2018. "Determinants of the Individuals’ Willingness to Support Nonprofit Organizations – An Integrative Theoretical Perspective," International Conference on Marketing and Business Development Journal, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, vol. 1(2), pages 84-91, December.
    9. van Rijn, Jordan & Barham, Bradford & Sundaram-Stukel, Reka, 2016. "An Experimental Approach to Comparing Similarity- and Guilt-Based Charitable Appeals," Staff Paper Series 584, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    10. van Rijn, Jordan & Barham, Bradford & Sundaram-Stukel, Reka, 2017. "An experimental approach to comparing similarity- and guilt-based charitable appeals," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 25-40.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Matched fundraising: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 351-362, June.
    2. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
    3. Gong, Ning & Grundy, Bruce D., 2014. "The design of charitable fund-raising schemes: Matching grants or seed money," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 147-165.
    4. Roi Zultan & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2011. "See No Evil: Information Chains and Reciprocity in Teams," Working Papers 1108, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    5. Alan Krause, "undated". "Taxing and Subsidising Charitable Contributions," Discussion Papers 09/23, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Diasakos, Theodoros M & Neymotin, Florence, 2013. "Coordination in Public Good Provision: How Individual Volunteering is Impacted by the Volunteering of Others," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-119, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    7. Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm & Lise Vesterlund & Huan Xie, 2017. "Why Do People Give? Testing Pure and Impure Altruism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3617-3633, November.
    8. Carlo Gallier & Timo Goeschl & Martin Kesternich & Johannes Lohse & Christiane Reif & Daniel Roemer, 2019. "Inter-charity competition under spatial differentiation: Sorting, crowding, and splillovers," Discussion Papers 19-08, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    9. Theodoros M. Diasakos & Florence Neymotin, 2011. "Community Matters: How the Volunteering of Others Affects One's Likelihood of Engaging in Volunteer Work," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 209, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    10. Borgloh, Sarah & Dannenberg, Astrid & Aretz, Bodo, 2013. "Small is beautiful—Experimental evidence of donors’ preferences for charities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 242-244.
    11. Edwards, James T. & List, John A., 2014. "Toward an understanding of why suggestions work in charitable fundraising: Theory and evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-13.
    12. Lange, Andreas & Price, Michael K. & Santore, Rudy, 2017. "Signaling quality through gifts: Implications for the charitable sector," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 48-61.
    13. Huseyin Yildirim & Alvaro Name Correa, 2011. "A Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising with Costly Solicitations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000222, David K. Levine.
    14. David Reinstein & Gerhard Riener, 2012. "Reputation and influence in charitable giving: an experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 221-243, February.
    15. Jingping Li & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2017. "Category Reporting In Charitable Giving: An Experimental Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 397-408, January.
    16. Name Correa, Álvaro, 2014. "Learning by Fund-raising," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1408, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    17. Yamamoto, Wataru, 2013. "Negative economic consequences of ethical campaigns?: Market data evidence," MPRA Paper 49070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Butera, Luigi & Horn, Jeffrey, 2020. "“Give less but give smart”: Experimental evidence on the effects of public information about quality on giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 59-76.
    19. Serge-Christophe Kolm, 2008. "Paradoxes of the War on Poverty: Warm-Glows and Efficiency," IDEP Working Papers 0807, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised 18 Nov 2008.
    20. Diamond, Peter, 2006. "Optimal tax treatment of private contributions for public goods with and without warm glow preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 897-919, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17585. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.