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Selective Recognition: How to Recognize Donors to Increase Charitable Giving

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  • Samek, Anya
  • Sheremeta, Roman

Abstract

Recognizing donors by revealing their identities is important for increasing charitable giving. Using a framed field experiment, we show that all forms of recognition that we examine increase donations relative to the baseline treatment, and recognizing only the highest or only the lowest donors has the strongest and significant effect. We argue that selective recognition creates tournament-like incentives. Recognizing the highest donors activates the desire to seek a ‘positive prize’ of prestige, while recognizing the lowest donors activates the desire to avoid a ‘negative prize’ of shame. We discuss how selective recognition can be used by charities to increase donations.

Suggested Citation

  • Samek, Anya & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Selective Recognition: How to Recognize Donors to Increase Charitable Giving," MPRA Paper 74858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:74858
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    Cited by:

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    2. David Clingingsmith & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2018. "Status and the demand for visible goods: experimental evidence on conspicuous consumption," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 877-904, December.
    3. Jipeng Zhang & Huan Xie, 2019. "Hierarchy Leadership and Social Distance in Charitable Giving," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 433-458, October.
    4. David A. Comerford & Leonhard K. Lades, 2022. "Responsibility utility and the difference between preference and desirance: implications for welfare evaluation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 58(2), pages 201-224, February.
    5. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Schwarz, Mordechai E. & Tobol, Yossef, 2019. "To What Do People Contribute? Ongoing Operations vs. Sustainable Supplies," IZA Discussion Papers 12180, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2018. "Behavior In Group Contests: A Review Of Experimental Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 683-704, July.
    7. Gee, Laura K. & Schreck, Michael J. & Singh, Ankriti, 2020. "From lab to field: Social distance and charitable giving in teams," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    8. Montano-Campos, Felipe & Perez-Truglia, Ricardo, 2019. "Giving to charity to signal smarts: evidence from a lab experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 193-199.
    9. Feine, Gregor & Groh, Elke D. & von Loessl, Victor & Wetzel, Heike, 2021. "The double dividend of social information in charitable giving: Evidence from a framed field experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242437, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Kessler, Judd B. & Low, Corinne & Singhal, Monica, 2021. "Social policy instruments and the compliance environment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 248-267.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    charity donations; recognition; information; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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