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Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Steffen Altmann (), Armin Falk, Paul Heidhues () and Rajshri Jayaraman

No 1430, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: We study how website defaults affect consumer behavior in the domain of charitable giving. In a field experiment that was conducted on a large platform for making charitable donations over the web, we exogenously vary the default options in two distinct choice dimensions. The first pertains to the primary donation decision, namely, how much to contribute to the charitable cause. The second relates to an “add-on" decision of how much to contribute to supporting the online platformitself. We find a strong impact of defaults on individual behavior: in each of our treatments, the modal positive contributions in both choice dimensions invariably correspond to the specified default amounts. Defaults, nevertheless, have no impact on aggregate donations. This is because defaults in the donation domain induce some people to donate more and others to donate less than they otherwise would have. In contrast, higher defaults in the secondary choice dimension unambiguously induce higher contributions to the online platform.

Keywords: Default Options; Charitable Giving; Online Platforms; Field Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D03 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
Date: 2014
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.492899.de/dp1430.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Defaults and donations: Evidence from a field experiment (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Defaults and Donations: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2014) Downloads
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