'Feel the Warmth' Glow: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Act of Giving
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School
Anya Savikhin Samek
The University of Chicago; University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Human Ecology
October 22, 2013
We conducted a field experiment with a charitable group to investigate whether giving the donor an option to write a personal message to the recipient influences giving behavior. Over 1,500 households were approached in a door-to-door campaign and randomized to either a control or a treatment in which donors could include a card for the recipient. We predict that treatment should increase contributions through making the gift more meaningful, but may also decrease contribution rate by increasing the social or other cost of donating. We find evidence in favor of the cost effect, and no evidence of increased giving.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: field experiment, altruism, meaning, social pressure
JEL Classification: C93, H41, D64
Date posted: October 24, 2013
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