Charitable Giving in the Field - Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment at Bottle Refund Automats in Germany

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal 27 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Robert NEUMANN, Technische Universitat Dresden, Germany
The study of the emergence of a social norm of helping strangers by donating money to charities or non-profit organizations has been scrutinized from different perspectives. Theoretical approaches like warm glow behavior or feelings of social obligation to help others have mostly been tested using either laboratory settings that come with the usual drawbacks or within survey experiments that were conducted to mobilize donors. Additionally, a few field experiments have highlighted the importance of framing decision contexts by providing descriptive cues about the social expectations to enhance contribution to a collective good. Using a unique research design from a supermarket chain in Germany, we systematically alter the information provision of the decision context at bottle refund automats with the option to donate the refund. By that, we are able to test competing hypotheses about the emergence of a social norm of helping by donating money to a non-profit organization.