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Narrow framing in charitable giving: Results from a two-period field experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Adena, Maja
  • Huck, Steffen

Do donors examine a single ask to donate in isolation or do they consider that other and future asks may come along? In the first year of our field experiment, we vary whether or not potential donors are informed that the ask will be repeated in the following year. This information has dramatic effects on the amount given: if present, donations fall by around 40%. This indicates strong support for the prevalence of narrow framing which benefits the fundraiser. In the second year of our experiment we show that previous non-donors behave as if expecting future calls, regardless of whether they have been explicitly told or have simply observed two subsequent asks, that is, they are de-biased through learning. Finally, we document that donors from year 1 tend to give the same amount again in year 2 which generates a long-run effect of initial narrow framing on donation amounts.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2017-305.

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Date of creation: 2017
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2017305
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  1. Mette Trier Damgaard & Christiana Gravert, 2016. "The hidden costs of nudging: Experimental evidence from reminders in fundraising," Economics Working Papers 2016-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  2. Huck Steffen & Rasul Imran, 2010. "Transactions Costs in Charitable Giving: Evidence from Two Field Experiments," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, April.
  3. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Charitable Giving and Nonbinding Contribution-Level Suggestions - Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Behavioral Economics, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, May.
  4. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2017. "Matching donations without crowding out? Some theoretical considerations, a field, and a lab experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 32-42.
  5. Matthew Rabin & Georg Weizsacker, 2009. "Narrow Bracketing and Dominated Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1508-1543, September.
  6. Meer, Jonathan, 2017. "Does fundraising create new giving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 82-93.
  7. 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.
  8. Bakija, Jon & Heim, Bradley T., 2011. "How Does Charitable Giving Respond to Incentives and Income? New Estimates From Panel Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 615-650, June.
  9. Adena, Maja, 2014. "Tax-price elasticity of charitable donations: Evidence from the German taxpayer panel," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  10. Cairns, Jason & Slonim, Robert, 2011. "Substitution effects across charitable donations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 173-175, May.
  11. Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-197, December.
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