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Media Coverage & Charitable Giving After the 2004 Tsunami

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  • Philip Brown

    ()

  • Jessica Minty

    ()

Abstract

Media coverage of humanitarian crises is widely believed to influence charitable giving, yet this assertion has received little empirical scrutiny. Using Internet donations after the 2004 tsunami as a case study, we show that media coverage of disasters has a dramatic impact on donations to relief agencies, with an additional minute of nightly news coverage increasing donations by 0.036 standard deviations from the mean, or 13.2% of the average daily donation for the typical relief agency. Similarly, an additional 700-word story in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal raises donations by 18.2% of the daily average. These results are robust to controls for the timing of news coverage and tax considerations. We repeat the analysis using instrumental variables to account for endogeneity bias, and the estimates are unchanged. However, we also find that the effect of news coverage varies considerably by relief agency.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Brown & Jessica Minty, 2006. "Media Coverage & Charitable Giving After the 2004 Tsunami," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp855, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2006-855
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    File URL: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/57235/1/wp855.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aldashev, Gani & Marini, Marco & Verdier, Thierry, 2010. "Brothers in Alms? Coordination between NGOs on Markets for Development Donations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8109, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Aldashev, Gani & Marini, Marco & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Brothers in alms? Coordination between nonprofits on markets for donations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 182-200.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Charitable giving; Media; Disasters; Tsunami; Southeast Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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