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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 3 No. 1 (February 2011)

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Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Article Citation

Soetevent, Adriaan R. 2011. "Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3(1): 180-205.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.1.180

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of payment choice on charitable giving with a door-to-door fund-raising field experiment. Respondents can donate cash only, use debit only, or have both options. Cash donations have lower visibility vis-à-vis solicitors than debit card donations. When debit replaces cash, participation drops by 87 percent. Conditional on participation, donors in the Debit-only treatment give more than donors in Cash-only. In Cash&Debit, almost all donors prefer cash; participation decreases compared to Cash-only. Physical attractiveness of both female and male solicitors increases contributions. Solicitor self-confidence has a negative impact. (JEL D14, D64, L31)

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Authors

Soetevent, Adriaan R. (U Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute)

JEL Classifications

D14: Personal Finance
D64: Altruism
L31: Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs

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