Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Warm glow in charitable auctions: Are the WEIRDos driving the results?

Remoundou, Kyriaki and Drichoutis, Andreas and Koundouri, Phoebe (2010): Warm glow in charitable auctions: Are the WEIRDos driving the results?

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Abstract

Running conventional laboratory experiments (i.e., with a standard student subject pool) is common practice in economic experiments especially when methodological issues are explored. However, generalization of the results from such experiments to the entire population is subject to severe critique. In this study we investigate warm glow in charitable auctions in a conventional lab experiment and an artefactual field experiment (i.e., lab experiment using subjects from the general population). The auction is constructed in a way to isolate warm glow by donating the sum of revenues by highest bidders to an environmental charity of subjects’ choice. Contributions motivated by pure altruism were eliminated by keeping constant the total amount the charity would receive. Results for the two subject pools are at complete odds. There is ample evidence of warm glow in the student subject pool but none in the consumer subject pool. Our findings suggest that conclusions from conventional lab experiments may not be immediately transferable to the general population.

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