Does Generosity Beget Generosity? Alumni Giving and Undergraduate Financial Aid

48 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2012 Last revised: 22 Apr 2021

See all articles by Jonathan Meer

Jonathan Meer

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Harvey S. Rosen

Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

We investigate how undergraduates' financial aid packages affect their subsequent donative behavior as alumni. The empirical work is based upon micro data on alumni giving at an anonymous research university. We focus on three types of financial aid, scholarships, loans, and campus jobs. A novel aspect of our modeling strategy is that, consistent with the view of some professional fundraisers, we allow the receipt of a given form of aid per se to affect alumni giving. At the same time, our model allows the amount of the support to affect giving behavior nonlinearly.Our main findings are: 1) Individuals who took out student loans are less likely to make a gift, other things being the same. We conjecture that this phenomenon is caused by an "annoyance effect" -- alumni resent the fact that they are burdened with loans. 2) Scholarship aid reduces the size of a gift, but has little effect on the probability of donating. The negative effect of receiving a scholarship on donations decreases in absolute value with the size of the scholarship. We do not find any evidence that scholarship recipients give less because they have relatively low incomes post graduation. 3) Aid in the form of campus jobs does not have a strong effect on donative behavior.

Suggested Citation

Meer, Jonathan and Rosen, Harvey S., Does Generosity Beget Generosity? Alumni Giving and Undergraduate Financial Aid (February 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17861, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2010393

Jonathan Meer (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

Harvey S. Rosen

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

001 Fisher Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
17
Abstract Views
395
PlumX Metrics