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Desert and Tangibility: Decomposing House Money Effects in a Charitable Giving Experiment

Reinstein, David and Reiner, Gerhard (2009) Desert and Tangibility: Decomposing House Money Effects in a Charitable Giving Experiment. Working Paper. University of Essex, Department of Economics, Discussion Papers 680.

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Abstract

Several papers have documented that when subjects play with standard laboratory “endowments” they make less self-interested choices then when they use money they have either earned through a laboratory task or brought from outside the lab. In the context of a charitable giving experiment we decompose common "house money" effects into two components: the tangibility of cash in hand relative to money (or ecu's) promised on a computer screen, and the desert of earned money relative to random windfall gains. While both components are found to be significant in non-parametric tests, the former effect, which has been neglected in previous studies, has a stronger effect on total donations. These results have clear implications for experimental design, and also suggest that the availability of less tangible payment methods may increase charitable donations.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2012 20:42
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2014 12:38
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2937

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