Choosing your object of benevolence : a field experiment on donation options

Aretz, Bodo ; Kube, Sebastian

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-29109
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2010
The title of a journal, publication series: None
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C93 D64 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Deutschland , Spende , Imagologie , Verhalten , Mikroökonomie , Feldforschung
Keywords (English): charitable giving , identifiable victim , field experiment , altruism , contingent valuation
Abstract: In a large natural field experiment, we explore the effect of providing donors with the opportunity to choose the target country for their donations. We find that only a small fraction of donors use the option, which might reflect a reluctance to consider tradeoffs when those concern important, 'protected', values. However, those donors who choose their object of benevolence give significantly more, even when controlling for their donation history. In view of the latest research on identifiable-victim effects, our findings underline that less inclusive targets can evoke more intense feelings than more inclusive ones - stressing that altruistic motivation seems to be mediated by aroused empathetic emotions.
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