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Time-Inconsistent Charitable Giving

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  • James Andreoni
  • Marta Serra-Garcia

Abstract

We motivate this paper with a puzzle. When we asked subjects to give five dollars to charity today, about 30 percent agree, but when the donation would instead be paid in one week, giving increases by 50 percent. The puzzle is that received models of self-control cannot explain this time-inconsistent charitable giving. This suggests a new approach is needed for intertemporal pro-sociality. We present one solution to the puzzle in a theoretical model and two new experiments. Our explanation relies on the rich dynamics of warm glow, and specifically image concerns, in prosocial behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • James Andreoni & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2016. "Time-Inconsistent Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 22824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22824
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    Cited by:

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    2. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2021. "The generosity spillover effect of pledges in a two-person giving game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    3. Christian Kellner & David Reinstein & Gerhard Riener, 2017. "Conditional generosity and uncertain income: Evidence from five experiments," Discussion Papers 1707, University of Exeter, Department of Economics.
    4. James Andreoni & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2019. "The Pledging Puzzle: How Can Revocable Promises Increase Charitable Giving," CESifo Working Paper Series 7965, CESifo.
    5. John A. List & James J. Murphy & Michael K. Price & Alexander G. James, 2019. "Do Appeals to Donor Benefits Raise More Money than Appeals to Recipient Benefits? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment with Pick.Click.Give," NBER Working Papers 26559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Florian Ederer & Fr'd'ric Schneider, 2018. "The Persistent Power of Promises," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2129R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2019.
    7. Lata Gangadharan & Philip J. Grossman & Nina Xue, 2022. "Identifying self-image concerns from motivated beliefs: Does it matter how and whom you ask?," Monash Economics Working Papers 2022-05, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    8. Lata Gangadharan & Philip J. Grossman & Nina Xue, 2021. "Identifying self-image concerns from motivated beliefs: Does it matter how and whom you ask?," Monash Economics Working Papers 2021-17, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    9. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2019. "Pledges as a Social Influence Device: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers hal-02176269, HAL.
    10. Marius A. K. Ring & Thor Olav Thoresen, 2022. "Wealth Taxation and Charitable Giving," CESifo Working Paper Series 9700, CESifo.
    11. Stephanie A. Heger & Robert Slonim, 2022. "Altruism Begets Altruism," CESifo Working Paper Series 9522, CESifo.
    12. Kirsten Rohde & Job van Exel & Merel van Hulsen, 2022. "Weighting the Waiting: Intertemporal Social Preferences," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-023/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. Lorenz Götte & Egon Tripodi, 2022. "Social Recognition: Experimental Evidence from Blood Donors," CESifo Working Paper Series 9719, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics

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