The Effect of Recipient Contribution Requirements on Support for Social Programs
60 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2017 Last revised: 2 Feb 2018
Date Written: September 26, 2017
Whether aid programs should require recipients to contribute their own resources to receive benefits is widely debated, but little is known about public support for these requirements. Using randomized experiments, we find an inverted u-shape response to monetary contribution requirements for a food aid program: support increases when recipients make small monetary contributions and returns to baseline under large contribution requirements. Recipient time contribution requirements also increase program support. Analysis of mechanisms suggests that individuals screen recipients to target those who need and value the aid. We find suggestive evidence of stronger responses to monetary contributions among conservatives versus liberals.
JEL Classification: C91, C93, D31, I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation