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Information and belief elicitation effects on charitable giving: An artefactual field experiment

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Abstract

We examine by means of an artefactual field experiment on a representative sample of Italian adults, the impact of information and belief elicitation on charitable-giving when donors know (or express their beliefs on) what the organizations received in terms of aggregate donations in the past. We find that both effects are significant in terms of increase in the share of donors to a health related (bone marrow transplant) organization. The observed findings are consistent with expressed health wellbeing preferences of donors and with the gap between the organization position in the ranking of aggregate donations (last) and the far higher expected position of the same organization in donors’ beliefs. The effect is robust also in gender and age sample splits. Inequity aversion and warm glow depending on the expected marginal benefit of increased donations to the specific charity are two observationally equivalent explanations for our findings. Another related consequence of information disclosure is that the share of participants deciding not to donate at all becomes significantly lower when information on aggregate past donations is provided.

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  • Leonardo Becchetti & Vittorio Pelligra, 2014. "Information and belief elicitation effects on charitable giving: An artefactual field experiment," CEIS Research Paper 306, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Feb 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:306
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    Keywords

    altruism; warm glow; strategic information; charitable-giving; artefactual field experiment;

    JEL classification:

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

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