A field experiment on the impact of a prior donor's social status on subsequent charitable giving

Ebeling F., Feldhaus C., Fendrich J.


Abstract
We study the effect of a prior donor on subsequent charitable giving in a natural field experiment and investigate in particular whether his social status matters for subsequent giving. To do so, we trailed a person asking for donations in Cologne's streetcar network while (1) either implementing an initial donor or not and (2) varying the apparent social status of the initial donor. We find that other passengers are more prone to give when there is an initial donor, with this effect being amplified when he seems to have a high social status. Further analyses reveal that women tend to react stronger than men to the prior donor's status.

Keywords
Charitable giving; Field experiment; Social status



Publication type
Article in Journal

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2017

Journal
Journal of Economic Psychology

Volume
61

Start page
124

End page
133

Pages range
124-133

Publisher
Elsevier B.V.

ISSN
0167-4870

DOI

Full text

Affiliation
Universitat zu Koln