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

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Listed:
  • Adena, Maja
  • Huck, Steffen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2017. "Narrow framing in charitable giving: Results from a two-period field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2017-305, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2017305
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Trier Damgaard, Mette & Gravert, Christina, 2016. "The hidden costs of nudging: Experimental evidence from reminders in fundraising," Working Papers in Economics 650, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    7. Meer, Jonathan, 2017. "Does fundraising create new giving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 82-93.
    8. Matthew Rabin & Georg Weizsacker, 2009. "Narrow Bracketing and Dominated Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1508-1543, September.
    9. Cairns, Jason & Slonim, Robert, 2011. "Substitution effects across charitable donations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 173-175, May.
    10. Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-197, December.
    11. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Charitable giving; natural field experiment; decision framing;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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