Do Market Incentives Crowd Out Charitable Giving?
28 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2013 Last revised: 20 May 2015
Date Written: August 9, 2013
Donations and volunteerism can be conceived of as market transactions with a zero explicit price. However, evidence suggests people may not view zero as just another price when it comes to pro-social behavior. Thus, while markets might be expected to increase the supply of assets available to those in need, some worry such financial incentives will crowd out altruistic giving. This paper reports laboratory experiments directly investigating the degree to which market incentives crowd out large, discrete charitable donations in a setting related to deceased organ donation. The results suggest markets increase the supply of assets available to those in need. However, as some critics fear, market incentives disproportionately influence the relatively poor.
Keywords: Pro-Social Behavior, Market Incentives, Crowding Out, Wealth Effects
JEL Classification: C9, D0, D6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation