2018

Seasonal Altruism How Christmas Shapes Unsolicited Charitable Giving

Särtryck nr 2018:47

Författare: Mathias EkströmÅr: 2018 Publikation: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization Årgång (nr): 153 (September) Sidor: 177–193
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Seasonal Altruism How Christmas Shapes Unsolicited Charitable Giving Mathias Ekström


Christmas is a holiday of Christian origin with traditions that emphasize prosocial behavior, including charitable giving, but does it actually make people more altruistic? Responding to this question poses a challenge because of the confounding factors of charitable tax breaks, reciprocity motives, pressure from the solicitors and persuasive campaigns for giving that are more prevalent in December. In this paper, I use a unique solicitation situation where these factors are eliminated. Based on nine years of data and more than 50 million giving decisions, I provide three main results. First, the month of December is associated with a 14% increase in the probability to make a donation, thereby providing strong support to the notion of seasonal altruism. Second, exploiting a reform that changed the price of giving, I find that this December effect is equivalent to a 32% discount on charitable giving. Finally, half of the December increase in generosity persists into January before returning to the baseline in February.


Referens:
Ekström, Mathias (2018), "Seasonal Altruism How Christmas Shapes Unsolicited Charitable Giving". Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 153(September), 177–193.

Mathias Ekström

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