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Defaults in charitable giving

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Schulz

    () (Department of Economics, University of Nottingham.)

  • Petra Thiemann

    () (University of Southern California.)

  • Christian Thoeni

    () (University of Lausanne.)

Abstract

In an experimental setup we investigate the effect of defaults on charitable giving. In the treatment group, subjects can either specify a charity of their choice, or select one from a default list of five well-known charities; in the control group we do not provide the list. In a sample of 869 subjects we find that offering a list of default charities doubles both the fraction of donors and the aggregate amount of donations. These findings point to the importance of psychological factors like affective reactions in donation decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Schulz & Petra Thiemann & Christian Thoeni, 2015. "Defaults in charitable giving," Discussion Papers 2015-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2015-06
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    File URL: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cedex/documents/papers/cedex-discussion-paper-2015-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    2. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
    3. Altmann, Steffen & Falk, Armin & Heidhues, Paul & Jayaraman, Rajshri, 2014. "Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8680, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Jonathan Schulz & Urs Fischbacher & Christian Thöni & Verena Utikal, 2011. "Affect and Fairness," TWI Research Paper Series 68, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    5. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187.
    6. McManus, Brian & Bennet, Richard, 2011. "The demand for products linked to public goods: Evidence from an online field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 403-415, June.
    7. Schulz, Jonathan F. & Fischbacher, Urs & Thöni, Christian & Utikal, Verena, 2014. "Affect and fairness: Dictator games under cognitive load," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 77-87.
    8. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
    9. John Morgan & Martin Sefton, 2000. "Funding Public Goods with Lotteries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 785-810.
    10. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. McManus, Brian & Bennet, Richard, 2011. "The demand for products linked to public goods: Evidence from an online field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 403-415.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:soceco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:139-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schulz, Jonathan F. & Thiemann, Petra & Thöni, Christian, 2018. "Nudging generosity: Choice architecture and cognitive factors in charitable giving," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 139-145.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    charitable giving; defaults; donation; affective reactions;

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