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Choosing your object of benevolence: a field experiment on donation options

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  • Aretz, Bodo
  • Kube, Sebastian

Abstract

In a large natural field experiment, we explore the effect of providing donors with the opportunity to choose the target country for their donations. We find that only a small fraction of donors use the option, which might reflect a reluctance to consider tradeoffs when those concern important, 'protected', values. However, those donors who choose their object of benevolence give significantly more, even when controlling for their donation history. In view of the latest research on identifable-victim effects, our findings underline that less inclusive targets can evoke more intense feelings than more inclusive ones stressing that altruistic motivation seems to be mediated by aroused empathetic emotions.

Suggested Citation

  • Aretz, Bodo & Kube, Sebastian, 2010. "Choosing your object of benevolence: a field experiment on donation options," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-016, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10016
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Cristina Rossi & Dario Sansone & Costanza Torricelli & Arthur van Soest, 2018. "Household Preferences for Socially Responsible Investments," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 18021, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    charitable giving; identifiable victim; field experiment; altruism; contingent valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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