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The Emotional Consequences of Donation Opportunities

Author

Listed:
  • Lara B. Aknin
  • Guy Mayraz
  • John F. Helliwell

Abstract

Charities often circulate widespread donation appeals to garner support for campaigns, but what impact do these campaigns have on the well-being of individuals who choose to donate, those who choose not to donate, and the entire group exposed to the campaign? Here we investigate these questions by exploring the changes in affect reported by individuals who donate in response to a charitable request and those who do not. We also look at the change in affect reported by the entire sample to measure the net impact of the donation request. Results reveal that large donors experience hedonic boosts from their charitable actions, and the substantial fraction of large donors translates to a net positive influence on the well-being of the entire sample. Thus, under certain conditions, donation opportunities can enable people to help others while also increasing the overall well-being of the population of potential donors.

Suggested Citation

  • Lara B. Aknin & Guy Mayraz & John F. Helliwell, 2014. "The Emotional Consequences of Donation Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 20696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20696
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20696.pdf
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    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. Lara B. Aknin & Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh & Elizabeth W. Dunn & John F. Helliwell & Robert Biswas-Diener & Imelda Kemeza & Paul Nyende & Claire E. Ashton-James & Michael I. Norton, 2010. "Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal," NBER Working Papers 16415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    4. M.A. Nowak & K. Sigmund, 1998. "Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring/ The Dynamics of Indirect Reciprocity," Working Papers ir98040, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    5. Borgonovi, Francesca, 2008. "Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2321-2334, June.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Emotional Consequences of Donation Opportunities
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-12-30 18:18:30

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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