'Feel the Warmth' Glow: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Act of Giving
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 108, 198-211.
23 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013 Last revised: 9 Oct 2021
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: field experiment, altruism, meaning, social pressure
JEL Classification: C93, H41, D64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation