Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment

54 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2005 Last revised: 1 Dec 2011

See all articles by Craig E. Landry

Craig E. Landry

UGA Ag & Applied Economics

Andreas Lange

University of Hamburg

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Michael K. Price

University of Maryland - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics

Nicholas G. Rupp

East Carolina University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2005

Abstract

This study develops theory and uses a door-to-door fundraising field experiment to explore the economics of charity. We approached nearly 5000 households, randomly divided into four experimental treatments, to shed light on key issues on the demand side of charitable fundraising. Empirical results are in line with our theory: in gross terms, our lottery treatments raised considerably more money than our voluntary contributions treatments. Interestingly, we find that a one standard deviation increase in female solicitor physical attractiveness is similar to that of the lottery incentive¡athe magnitude of the estimated difference in gifts is roughly equivalent to the treatment effect of moving from our theoretically most attractive approach (lotteries) to our least attractive approach (voluntary contributions).

Suggested Citation

Landry, Craig and Lange, Andreas and List, John A. and Price, Michael K. and Rupp, Nicholas G., Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment (September 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11611. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=804257

Craig Landry

UGA Ag & Applied Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-7509
United States

Andreas Lange

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

John A. List (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Michael K. Price

University of Maryland - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics ( email )

Symmons Hall, Rm 2200
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-5535
United States

Nicholas G. Rupp

East Carolina University - Department of Economics ( email )

Brewster Building
Greenville, NC 27858
United States
252.328.6821 (Phone)
252.328.6743 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://myweb.ecu.edu/ruppn/

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