NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Social Distance and Quality Ratings in Charity Choice

Alexander L. Brown, Jonathan Meer, J. Forrest Williams

NBER Working Paper No. 20182
Issued in May 2014
NBER Program(s):   PE

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 are somewhat imprecise.

download in pdf format
   (480 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20182

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

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Karlan and Wood w20047 The Effect of Effectiveness: Donor Response to Aid Effectiveness in a Direct Mail Fundraising Experiment
Eckel, Herberich, and Meer w20180 A Field Experiment on Directed Giving at a Public University
Brown, Meer, and Williams w19066 Why Do People Volunteer? An Experimental Analysis of Preferences for Time Donations
Giavazzi, Petkov, and Schiantarelli w20174 Culture: Persistence and Evolution
Meer w19082 Effects of the Price of Charitable Giving: Evidence from an Online Crowdfunding Platform
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us