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Category Reporting in Charitable Giving: An Experimental Analysis

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  • Li, Jingping
  • Riyanto, Yohanes E.

Abstract

Harbaugh (1998a) has shown theoretically that charities can increase the size of donations by publicly acknowledging their donors using categories. In a complementary paper,using the data on the donations given by 146 lawyers to their almamater law school, Harbaugh (1998b) provided empirical support for this theoretical assertion. Essentially, being acknowledged in categories gives donors some prestige benefits. In this paper, we experimentally investigate the impact of various reporting plans as described in Harbaugh (1998a and 1998b) on the behavior of donors. Our results show that, although the category reporting plan has no significant impact on the size of donations when compared to the exact reporting plan and the no reporting plan, it does signi�ficantly alter the charitable behavior of donors. We show that the presence of a category reporting plan induces the clustering of donations on the lower boundaries of categories, which suggests that donors are motivated by prestige. We also discover that in some circumstances the presence of prestige benefi�ts crowds out the warm glow motive for giving.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Jingping & Riyanto, Yohanes E., 2009. "Category Reporting in Charitable Giving: An Experimental Analysis," MPRA Paper 18414, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18414
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anya Savikhin Samek & Roman Sheremeta, 2014. "Recognizing contributors: an experiment on public goods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(4), pages 673-690, December.
    2. Karlan, Dean & McConnell, Margaret A., 2014. "Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 402-412.
    3. Anya Savikhin & Roman Sheremeta, 2010. "Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 10-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. 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.
    5. Anya Samek & Roman Sheremeta, 2013. "Recognizing Contributors and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Artefactual Field Experiments 00430, The Field Experiments Website.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    laboratory experiment; charitable giving; reporting plans; prestige; warm glow;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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