NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Fair Weather Avoidance: Unpacking Costs and Benefits in Replication of 'Avoiding the Ask'

Hannah Trachtman, Andrew Steinkruger, Mackenzie Wood, Adam Wooster, James Andreoni, James J. Murphy, Justin M. Rao

NBER Working Paper No. 20385
Issued in August 2014
NBER Program(s):   PE

If being asked to give to charity stimulates an emotional response, like empathy, that makes giving difficult to resist, a natural self-control mechanism might be to avoid being asked in the first place. We replicate a result from a field experiment that points to the role of empathy in giving. We conduct an experiment in a large superstore in which we solicit donations to charity and randomly allow shoppers the opportunity to avoid solicitation by using the other door. We find the rate of avoidance by store entrants to be 4.5 percent. However, we also find that the avoidance effect disappears in very cold weather, suggesting that avoidance behavior is sensitive to its cost.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20385

 
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