Is a Donor in Hand Better than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

48 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2008 Last revised: 18 Aug 2010

See all articles by Craig E. Landry

Craig E. Landry

UGA Ag & Applied Economics

Andreas Lange

University of Hamburg

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Michael K. Price

University of Nevada, Reno

Nicholas G. Rupp

East Carolina University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2008

Abstract

This study develops theory and conducts an experiment to provide an understanding of why people initially give to charities, why they remain committed to the cause, and what factors attenuate these influences. Using an experimental design that links donations across distinct treatments separated in time, we present several insights. For example, we find that previous donors are more likely to give, and contribute more, than donors asked to contribute for the first time. Yet, how these previous donors were acquired is critical: agents who are initially attracted by signals of charitable quality transmitted via an economic mechanism are much more likely to continue giving than agents who were initially attracted by non-mechanism factors.

Suggested Citation

Landry, Craig and Lange, Andreas and List, John A. and Price, Michael K. and Rupp, Nicholas G., Is a Donor in Hand Better than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment (September 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14319. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1267550

Craig Landry

UGA Ag & Applied Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-7509
United States

Andreas Lange

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

John A. List (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Michael K. Price

University of Nevada, Reno ( email )

1664 N. Virginia St
Reno, NV 89557
United States

Nicholas G. Rupp

East Carolina University - Department of Economics ( email )

Brewster Building
Greenville, NC 27858
United States
252.328.6821 (Phone)
252.328.6743 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://myweb.ecu.edu/ruppn/

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