NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Marta Serra-Garcia

University of California, San Diego
Rady School of Management
9500 Gilman Drive #0553
La Jolla, CA 92093-0553

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of California, San Diego

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2016Time-Inconsistent Charitable Giving
with James Andreoni: w22824
We motivate this paper by presenting a puzzle. When we asked one group of subjects to give $5 to charity today, about 30% agree. When we asked a similar group the same question, but indicate their gift will be transacted in one week rather than today, giving increases by 50%. This suggests a classic time-inconsistency in charitable giving. It is a puzzle because classic discounting and models of temptation cannot capture major patterns in the data, though clearly the difference must have something to do with delay, but what? We conduct two new experiments to resolve the puzzle. Our explanation relies on the rich dynamics of social image signaling of pro-social behavior.
 
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