NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by J. Forrest Williams

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May 2014Social Distance and Quality Ratings in Charity Choice
with Alexander L. Brown, Jonathan Meer: w20182
We conduct a laboratory experiment to examine how third-party ratings impact charity choice and donative behavior, particularly in regards to preferences for local charities. Subjects are given a menu of ten charities, with a mix of local and non-local organizations included. We vary whether third-party ratings are displayed on this menu. Subjects perform an effort task to earn money and can choose to donate to their selected charity. We find evidence that subjects' choice of charity is impacted by third-party evaluations but, somewhat surprisingly, there are no obvious preferences for local charities. These third-party assessments have some impact on the percent of earnings that subjects allocate to their selected charity; local charities also accrue more donations, though these results a...

Published: Alexander L. Brown & Jonathan Meer & J. Forrest Williams, 2016. "Social distance and quality ratings in charity choice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, .

May 2013Why Do People Volunteer? An Experimental Analysis of Preferences for Time Donations
with Alexander L. Brown, Jonathan Meer: w19066
Why do individuals volunteer their time even when recipients receive far less value than the donor's opportunity cost? Previous models of altruism that focus on the overall impact of a gift cannot rationalize this behavior, despite its prevalence. We develop a model that relaxes this assumption, al- lowing for differential warm glow depending on the form of the donation. In a series of laboratory experiments that control for other aspects of volunteering, such as its signaling value, subjects demonstrate behavior consistent with the theoretical assumption that gifts of time produce greater utility than the same transfers in the form of money. Subjects perform an effort task, accruing earnings at potentially different wage rates for themselves or a charity of their choice, with the ability ...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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