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Do Market Incentives Crowd Out Charitable Giving?

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Abstract

Donations and volunteerism can be conceived as market transactions with zero explicit price. However, evidence suggests people may not view zero as just another price when it comes to pro-­social behavior. Thus, while markets might be expected to increase the supply of assets available to those in need, some worry such financial incentives will crowd out altruistic giving. This paper reports laboratory experiments directly investigating the degree to which market incentives crowd out charity. The results suggest markets increase the supply of assets available to those in need. However, as some critics fear, market incentives disproportionately influence the relatively poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Cary Deck & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2013. "Do Market Incentives Crowd Out Charitable Giving?," Discussion Papers dp13-05, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  • Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp13-05
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    Keywords

    Pro-­Social Behavior; Market Incentives; Crowding Out; Wealth Effects;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General

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