Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 09-015/1

40 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2009

Date Written: February 19, 2009

Abstract

This study uses a door-to-door fundraising field experiment to examine the impact of different payment options on charitable giving. Households are randomly divided into three treatments, distinguished by the possibility for respondents to donate cash, by debit card, or both. I find that due to dwindling participation, revenues are significantly lower in the debit-only treatment than in the baseline cash-only treatment. In the combined treatment, the vast majority of donors uses cash, participation decreases and especially small donors drop out. This indicates that the option to donate electronically crowds out the image motivation of cash donations.

Keywords: Payment choice, field experiment, image motivation

JEL Classification: C93, D64, H41, E42

Suggested Citation

Soetevent, Adriaan R., Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment (February 19, 2009). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 09-015/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1346333 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1346333

Adriaan R. Soetevent (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
++ 31 50 363 7018 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.soetevent.com

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