Dimensions of donation preferences: the structure of peer and income effects

Michalis Drouvelis, Benjamin M. Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Charitable donations provide positive externalities and can potentially be increased with an understanding of donor preferences. We obtain a uniquely comprehensive characterization of donation motives using an experiment that varies treatments between and within subjects. Donations are increasing in peers’ donations and past subjects’ donations. These and other results suggest a model of heterogeneous beliefs about the social norm for giving. Estimation of such a model reveals substantial heterogeneity in subjects’ beliefs about and adherence to the norm. A simple fundraising strategy increases donations by an estimated 30% by exploiting previously unstudied correlations between dimensions of donor preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-302
Number of pages29
JournalExperimental Economics
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Charitable
  • Donation
  • Experiment
  • Peer effects
  • Social preferences
  • Warm glow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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