NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Robert S. Gazzale

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May 2012Testing Motives for Charitable Giving: A Revealed-Preference Methodology with Experimental Evidence
with Rahul Deb, Matthew J. Kotchen: w18029
A large economics literature seeks to understand the reasons why individuals make charitable contributions. Fundamental features of most models of charitable giving are the inclusion of externalities induced by other agents and the Lancasterian characteristics approach to specifying utility functions. This paper develops a general, revealed-preference methodology for testing a variety of preference structures that allow for both externalities and characteristics. The tests are simple linear programs that are transparent, computationally efficient, and straightforward to implement. We show how the technique applies to standard models of privately provided public goods and novel models that account for social comparisons based on relative consumption and donations among individuals. We also ...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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