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Rebate Subsidies, Matching Subsidies and Isolation Effects

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  • Douglas D. Davis

    () (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

Abstract

In a series of recent experiments (Davis, Millner and Reilly, 2005, Eckel and Grossman, 2003, 2005a-c, 2006), matching subsidies generate significantly higher charity receipts than do theoretically equivalent rebate subsidies. This paper reports a laboratory experiment conducted to examine whether the higher receipts are attributable to a relative preference for matching subsidies or to an ‘isolation effect’ (McCaffery and Baron, 2003, 2006). Some potential policy implications of isolation effects on charitable contributions are also considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas D. Davis, 2006. "Rebate Subsidies, Matching Subsidies and Isolation Effects," Working Papers 0604, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0604
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    File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~dddavis/papers/DAVIS2006CM.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McCaffery, Edward J. & Baron, Jonathan, 2003. "The Humpty Dumpty blues: Disaggregation bias in the evaluation of tax systems," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 230-242, July.
    2. Stephan Meier, 2007. "Do Subsidies Increase Charitable Giving in the Long Run? Matching Donations in a Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1203-1222, December.
    3. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    4. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
    5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    7. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Subsidizing Charitable Giving with Rebates or Matching: Further Laboratory Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 794-807, April.
    8. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Do Donors Care about Subsidy Type? An Experimental Study," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    9. Douglas Davis & Edward Millner & Robert Reilly, 2005. "Subsidy Schemes and Charitable Contributions: A Closer Look," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 85-106, June.
    10. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions in the Field: Evidence from a Non-Secular Charity," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-44, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    11. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    12. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
    13. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Knowles & Maroš Servátka, 2014. "Transaction costs, the Opportunity Cost of Time and Inertia in Charitable Giving:," Working Papers 1401, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2014.
    2. Etang, Alvin & Fielding, David & Knowles, Stephen, 2012. "Giving to Africa and perceptions of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 819-832.
    3. Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Details Matter: The Impact of Presentation and Information on the Take-Up of Financial Incentives for Retirement Saving," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 204-228, February.
    4. Baker II, Ronald J. & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 2009. "Matching contributions and the voluntary provision of a pure public good: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 122-134, May.
    5. Eckel, Catherine & Grossman, Philip J., 2017. "Comparing rebate and matching subsidies controlling for donors’ awareness: Evidence from the field," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 88-95.
    6. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2008. "Subsidizing charitable contributions: a natural field experiment comparing matching and rebate subsidies," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 234-252, September.
    7. Daniel Hungerman & Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, 2016. "What is the Price Elasticity of Charitable Giving? Toward a Reconciliation of Disparate Estimates," Artefactual Field Experiments 00557, The Field Experiments Website.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experiments; charitable contributions; methodology;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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