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Games 2018, 9(4), 95;

Charity Begins at Home: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment on Charitable Giving

Department of Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Department of Political Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 13 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dictator Games)
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Charities operate at different levels: national, state, or local. We test the effect of the level of the organization on charitable giving in a sample of adults in two Texas communities. Subjects make four charitable giving “dictator game” decisions from a fixed amount of money provided by the experimenter. Three decisions target different charitable organizations, all of which have a disaster-relief mission, but differ in the level of operation. The fourth targets an individual recipient, identified by the local fire department as a victim of a fire. One of the four is selected randomly for payment. Giving is significantly higher to national and local organizations compared to state. We find a higher propensity to donate and larger amount donated to the individual relative to all organizations. Subsequent analysis compares a number of demographic and attitudinal covariates with donations to specific charities. In a second decision, subjects instead indicate which of their four prior decisions they would most prefer to implement. Here we see that a majority of subjects prefer the gift to the individual. View Full-Text
Keywords: charitable giving; comparative dictator game; lab-in-the-field experiment charitable giving; comparative dictator game; lab-in-the-field experiment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Eckel, C.C.; Priday, B.A.; Wilson, R.K. Charity Begins at Home: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment on Charitable Giving. Games 2018, 9, 95.

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