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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2009454
 
 

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Hey Look at Me: The Effect of Giving Circles on Giving


Dean S. Karlan


Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

December 19, 2011

Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 96
Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 1006

Abstract:     
Theories abound for why individuals give to charity. We conduct a field experiment with donors to a Yale University service club to test the impact of a promise of public recognition on giving. Some may claim that they respond to an offer of public recognition not to improve their social standing, but rather to motivate others to give. To tease apart these two theories, we conduct a laboratory experiment with undergraduates, and found no evidence to support the alternative, altruistic motivation. We conclude that charitable gifts increase in response to the promise of public recognition primarily because of individuals' desire to improve their social image.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: prosocial behavior, experiments, voluntary contributions, social image

JEL Classification: D64, C90, L30

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Date posted: February 26, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Karlan, Dean S., Hey Look at Me: The Effect of Giving Circles on Giving (December 19, 2011). Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 96; Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 1006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2009454 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2009454

Contact Information

Dean S. Karlan (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )
E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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