Skip to main content

About the Author(s)

James Andreoni

James Andreoni is a Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego. Before joining UCSD in 2006, Andreoni was a professor at the University of Wisconsin from 1986 to 2005. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, a research associate in the NBER’s Public Economics program, past president of the Economic Science Association, former co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Generosity in Economics.

Over his career, Andreoni has published widely in the fields of public finance, experimental and behavioral economics, and economic decision-making. He is perhaps best known for his extensive work on charitable giving, studying what motivates people to give, and how donors, fundraisers, and policymakers interact. He has also made contributions to the fields of tax compliance, social preferences, delegated enforcement, decision-making by juries, revealed preference, and social interactions. In recent years, he has turned to issues of measuring time preferences, and studying the causes of apparent time inconsistencies in consumption, labor supply, and moral and ethical behavior.


1. J. Andreoni, D. Aydin, B. Barton, D. Bernheim, and J. Naecker, "When Fair Isn't Fair: Understanding Choice Reversals Involving Social Preferences," NBER Working Paper No. 25257, November 2018, and forthcoming in the Journal of Political Economy, shows that non-consequentialism in social preferences is essential.   Go to ⤴︎
2. J. Andreoni, "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving," The Economic Journal, 100(401), 1990, pp. 464–77. The term "warm-glow" is slightly pejorative. The intent is to remind readers that, although the reduced form may help answer many questions, there is still much to learn by unlocking the ways warm-glow comes about. See also J. Andreoni, "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, 97(6), 1989, pp. 1447–58. On social-image in unselfish behavior, see J. Andreoni and B.D. Bernheim, "Social Image and the 50–50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica 77(5), 2009, pp.1607–36.   Go to ⤴︎
3. A. Payne, "Does the Government Crowd Out Private Donations? New Evidence From a Sample of Non-Profit Firms," Journal of Public Economics, 69(3), 1998, pp. 323–45.   Go to ⤴︎
4. This conclusion can also be reached by invoking the non-distribution constraint imposed on non-profits: Charity managers are accepting as part of their compensation the personal satisfaction of doing good works, not simply engaging in onerous fundraising. Another way to motivate fundraising is to assume that charities vary qualitatively — two disaster relief organizations can be imperfect substitutes if one provides mostly food aid while the other specializes in medical aid. Suppose donors differ by how much they favor food over medical aid. If both charities approach a donor, the donor will give to the charity that represents her preferences best. If only one charity calls to ask for a donation, then the donor will give, but will give less the further the charity is from the donor's ideal quality. Thus, charities setting fundraising expenditures face both extensive and intensive motivations for seeking donations. This model is developed in J. Andreoni and A. Payne, "Do Government Grants to Private Charities Crowd Out Giving or Fund-raising?" American Economic Review, 93(3), 2003, pp. 792–812.   Go to ⤴︎
5. This result is due to J. Andreoni, "Toward a Theory of Charitable Fund-raising," Journal of Political Economy, 106(6), 1998, pp. 1186–213. The theory was tested and confirmed in a field experiment by J. List and D. Lucking-Reiley, "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, 110(1), 2002, pp. 215–33.   Go to ⤴︎
6. J. Andreoni, "Leadership Giving in Charitable Fund-Raising," Journal of Public Economic Theory, 8(1), 2006, pp. 1–22. For a related model, see L. Vesterlund, "The Informational Value of Sequential Fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, 87(3-4), 2003, pp. 627–57, and tests of these ideas by A. Bracha, M. Menietti, and L. Vesterlund, "Seeds to Succeed: Sequential Giving to Public Projects," Journal of Public Economics, 95(5-6), 2011, pp. 416–27.   Go to ⤴︎
7. Ibid, J. Andreoni and A. Payne, American Economic Review, 2003.   Go to ⤴︎
8. J. Andreoni and A. Payne, "Is Crowding Out Due Entirely to Fundraising? Evidence From a Panel of Charities," NBER Working Paper No. 16372, September 2010, and Journal of Public Economics, 95(5–6), 2011, pp. 334–43.   Go to ⤴︎
9. J. Andreoni and A. Payne, "Crowding-Out Charitable Contributions in Canada: New Knowledge From the North," NBER Working Paper No. 17635, December 2011.   Go to ⤴︎
10. J. Andreoni, A. Payne, and S. Smith, "Do Grants to Charities Crowd Out Other Income? Evidence from the UK," NBER Working Paper No. 18998, April 2013, and Journal of Public Economics, 114, 2014, pp. 75–86.   Go to ⤴︎
11. J. Andreoni, J. Rao, and H. Trachtman, "Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving," NBER Working Paper No. 17648, December 2011, and Journal of Political Economy 125(3), 2017, pp. 625–53.   Go to ⤴︎
12. J. Andreoni and M. Serra-Garcia, "Time-Inconsistent Charitable Giving," NBER Working Paper No. 22824, November 2016. Go to ⤴︎

More from NBER

In addition to working papers, the NBER disseminates affiliates’ latest findings through a range of free periodicals — the NBER Reporter, the NBER Digest, the Bulletin on Retirement and Disability, the Bulletin on Health, and the Bulletin on Entrepreneurship — as well as online conference reports, video lectures, and interviews.

15th Annual Feldstein Lecture, Mario Draghi, "The Next Flight of the Bumblebee: The Path to Common Fiscal Policy in the Eurozone cover slide
  • Lecture
Dr. Mario Draghi, who served as President of the European Central Bank and Prime Minister of Italy, presented the 2023...
2023 Methods Lectures, Jesse Shapiro and Liyang (Sophie) Sun, "Linear Panel Event Studies" Primary tabs
  • Lecture
Overview: Linear panel event studies are increasingly used to estimate and plot causal effects of changes in policies...
2023, SI Economics of Social Security, Panel Discussion, "Long-Term Dynamics of the Employment-to-Population Ratio" Primary tabs
  • Lecture
Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley...

© 2023 National Bureau of Economic Research. Periodical content may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution.