Does Charity Begin at Home or Overseas?

Author: Knowles, Stephen; Sullivan, Trudy

Date: 2015-06

Publisher: University of Otago

Type: Working or discussion paper

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University of Otago


We conduct a field experiment to analyse whether a representative sample of the population has a preference for giving money to an international development charity or to a charity helping families in need in the home country. The majority of participants reveal a preference for giving to the local charity, rather than the international development charity. Participants were given the option of commenting on why they chose the charity they did, and we conduct a qualitative analysis of these responses. We also analyse quantitatively whether participants’ individual characteristics are correlated with the choice of charity.

Subjects: charitable giving, field experiment, local v international giving

Citation: ["Knowles, S., & Sullivan, T. (2015). Does Charity Begin at Home or Overseas? (Economics Discussion Papers No. 1504). University of Otago. Retrieved from"]

Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International