65 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2002

See all articles by Andrea Buraschi

Andrea Buraschi

Imperial College Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Francesca Cornelli

London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2002


This paper is an empirical study of the motives for charitable donations, based on a unique data set of the English National Opera. Merging all their box office and fundraising data, our data set not only contains individuals' donations, but also their opera attendance and all the fringe benefits they consume (e.g. dress rehearsals). We can, therefore, study the three main reasons suggested in the literature to explain charitable giving. We find that individuals donate to fund a public good - here, new productions - to have access to a private good - here, fringe benefits - and by altruism. The results are important to learn the extent to which we can model charitable donations in a model with a self-interested utility maximizing agent in a strategic environment and to enhance our understanding of the crowding-out effect of public spending to charities and the arts.

Keywords: Donations, altruism, charities, economics of arts

JEL Classification: D10, H41, L30

Suggested Citation

Buraschi, Andrea and Cornelli, Francesca, Donations (August 2002). Available at SSRN:

Andrea Buraschi (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Francesca Cornelli

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
+44 20 7262 5050 x3225 (Phone)
+44 20 7724 3317 (Fax)


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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