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When does it matter how you ask? Cross-subject heterogeneity in framing effects in a charitable donation experiment

Author

Listed:
  • David Fielding

    () (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

  • Stephen Knowles

    () (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

  • Kirsten Robertson

    () (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, New Zealand)

Abstract

In this paper we present results from an experiment that draws on insights from economics on different possible incentives for generosity and insights from social psychology on different possible personality types. Firstly, we test whether the effect of an appeal to a pure altruism motive versus an appeal to a self-interest motive varies across subjects. We find that there is substantial variation, and this variation is strongly correlated with a subject’s level of materialism. Secondly, we test whether spoken appeals and written appeals have different effects. We find no evidence for such a difference. These results have important implications for the fundraising strategies of charities and for experimental design.

Suggested Citation

  • David Fielding & Stephen Knowles & Kirsten Robertson, 2017. "When does it matter how you ask? Cross-subject heterogeneity in framing effects in a charitable donation experiment," Working Papers 1701, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:1701
    as

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    File URL: http://www.otago.ac.nz/economics/otago633963.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    3. Stefano Bartolini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Twenty-Five Years of Materialism: Do the US and Europe Diverge?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 133(2), pages 787-817, September.
    4. Lan Nguyen Chaplin & Deborah Roedder John, 2007. "Growing up in a Material World: Age Differences in Materialism in Children and Adolescents," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 480-493, June.
    5. Belk, Russell W, 1985. "Materialism: Trait Aspects of Living in the Material World," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 265-280, December.
    6. Conrads, Julian & Reggiani, Tommaso G., 2014. "The Effect of Communication Channels on Promise-Making and Promise-Keeping," IZA Discussion Papers 8534, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. James Andreoni & Justin M. Rao & Hannah Trachtman, 2017. "Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 625-653.
    8. Christina M. Fong, 2007. "Evidence from an Experiment on Charity to Welfare Recipients: Reciprocity, Altruism and the Empathic Responsiveness Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1008-1024, July.
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    11. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2010. "Disentangling the sources of pro-socially motivated effort: A field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1086-1092, December.
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    13. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Fielding & Stephen Knowles & Kirsten Robertson, 2017. "Alcohol Expenditure, Generosity and Empathy," Working Papers 1711, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; Self-Interest; Dictator Game; Materialism;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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