Information and Belief Elicitation Effects on Charitable Giving: An Artefactual Field Experiment

44 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2014 Last revised: 17 Feb 2015

See all articles by Leonardo Becchetti

Leonardo Becchetti

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Vittorio Pelligra

Universita di Cagliari - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

We examine by means of an artefactual field experiment on a representative sample of Italian adults, the impact of information and belief elicitation on charitable-giving when donors know (or express their beliefs on) what the organizations received in terms of aggregate donations in the past. We find that both effects are significant in terms of increase in the share of donors to a health related (bone marrow transplant) organization. The observed findings are consistent with expressed health wellbeing preferences of donors and with the gap between the organization position in the ranking of aggregate donations (last) and the far higher expected position of the same organization in donors’ beliefs. The effect is robust also in gender and age sample splits. Inequity aversion and warm glow depending on the expected marginal benefit of increased donations to the specific charity are two observationally equivalent explanations for our findings. Another related consequence of information disclosure is that the share of participants deciding not to donate at all becomes significantly lower when information on aggregate past donations is provided.

Keywords: altruism, warm glow, strategic information, charitable-giving, artefactual field experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D64, H00

Suggested Citation

Becchetti, Leonardo and Pelligra, Vittorio, Information and Belief Elicitation Effects on Charitable Giving: An Artefactual Field Experiment (January 2014). CEIS Working Paper No. 306. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2394045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2394045

Leonardo Becchetti (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
I-00133 Rome
Italy

Vittorio Pelligra

Universita di Cagliari - Department of Economics ( email )

V. S. Ignazio 17
Cagliari 09123, CA 09123
Italy

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