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Making an impact? The relevance of information on aid effectiveness for charitable giving. A laboratory experiment

Laura Metzger and Isabel Günther

Journal of Development Economics, 2019, vol. 136, issue C, 18-33

Abstract: In a laboratory experiment, we analyze individuals' demand for information about a donation's welfare impact, and compare it with demand for information on recipient types and administrative costs. We find the least demand for information about aid impact, indicating that individuals either do not understand, do not trust, or do not care about the specific information we provide. Average donations increase in response to information about the recipient type and decrease in response to information about administrative costs. Information about aid impact does not significantly change average donations: donors who demand information respond positively to high impact projects and negatively to low impact projects, resulting in a zero net effect on donation levels. Our results further show that information has the same effect on donation behavior regardless of whether it is provided for free or at a cost.

Keywords: Charitable giving; Aid impact; Aid effectiveness; Social preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 L31 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.08.015

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