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Deadlines, Procrastination, and Inattention in Charitable Tasks: A Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Knowles, Stephen
  • Servátka, Maroš
  • Sullivan, Trudy

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment to analyze the effect of deadline length on charitable tasks. Participants are invited to complete an online survey, with a donation going to charity if they do so. Participants are given either one week, one month or no deadline by which to respond. Completions are lower for the one month deadline, than for the other two treatments, consistent with the model of inattention developed in Taubinsky (2014) and also with the idea that not specifying a deadline conveys urgency.

Suggested Citation

  • Knowles, Stephen & Servátka, Maroš & Sullivan, Trudy, 2016. "Deadlines, Procrastination, and Inattention in Charitable Tasks: A Field Experiment," MPRA Paper 69621, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:69621
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/83242/9/MPRA_paper_83242.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    2. Knowles, Stephen & Servátka, Maroš, 2015. "Transaction costs, the opportunity cost of time and procrastination in charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 54-63.
    3. Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Matched fundraising: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 351-362, June.
    4. Karlan, Dean & List, John A. & Shafir, Eldar, 2011. "Small matches and charitable giving: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 344-350.
    5. Axel Sonntag & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "On Reminder Effects, Drop-Outs and Dominance: Evidence from an Online Experiment on Charitable Giving," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(8), pages 1-17, August.
    6. Mette Trier Damgaard & Christina Gravert, 2014. "Now or never! The effect of deadlines on charitable giving: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Economics Working Papers 2014-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Toke R. Fosgaard & Adriaan (A.R.) Soetevent, 2018. "Promises Undone: How Committed Pledges Impact Donations to Charity," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-044/VII, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    charitable tasks; charitable giving; deadline; procrastination; inattention; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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