10 results for Fielding, David, Knowles, Stephen, Working or discussion paper

  • When does it matter how you ask? Cross-subject heterogeneity in framing effects in a charitable donation experiment

    Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen; Robertson, Kirsten (2017-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In this paper we present results from an experiment that draws on insights from economics on different possible incentives for generosity and insights from social psychology on different possible personality types. Firstly, we test whether the effect of an appeal to a pure altruism motive versus an appeal to a self-interest motive varies across subjects. We find that there is substantial variation, and this variation is strongly correlated with a subject’s level of materialism. Secondly, we test whether spoken appeals and written appeals have different effects. We find no evidence for such a difference. These results have important implications for the fundraising strategies of charities and for experimental design.

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  • Can You Spare Some Change For Charity? Experimental Evidence On Verbal Cues And Loose Change Effects In A Dictator Game

    Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2013-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There is some evidence from field studies and natural experiments that levels of charitable donation depend on the method in which donations are solicited. There is also some experimental evidence that spending on private consumption depends on how much loose change people have. We use a simple laboratory experiment to measure the effect on donor choices of (i) whether the choices are presented verbally or non-verbally, and (ii) whether the participants have a large amount of loose change. We find strong evidence for both effects. These effects may explain some of the variation in the average level of generosity found in different Dictator Game results, and why laboratory experiments elicit levels of generosity that are often much higher than in non-laboratory settings.

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  • Are Survey measures of Trust Correlated with Experimental Trust? Empirical Evidence from Cameroon

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2010-11-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We analyze the correlation between survey-based measures of trust and behavior in the Trust Game in two villages in Cameroon. Some participants play the Trust Game with people from their own village, and others with people from a neighboring village. The survey that the participants complete includes questions about trust and social distance that reflect the experimental treatment. Some measures of survey-based trust are correlated with experimental trust, but the level of correlation is not uniform.

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  • Measuring aid effectively in tests of aid effectiveness

    Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2007-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In the extensive empirical literature on aid effectiveness, aid is always measured as a share of GDP. However, measuring aid in real dollars per capita is also consistent with standard growth theory. We show that the choice of denominator makes an enormous difference to the sign and significance of coefficients on aid variables in crosscountry panel growth regressions. Our aim is to redirect attention towards the theoretical foundations of the growth literature.

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  • Does Aid Work for the Poor?

    McGillivray, Mark; Fielding, David; Torres, Sebastian; Knowles, Stephen (2011-12-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper econometrically examines the impact of aid on the well-being of population sub-groups within 48 developing countries. This is a radical departure from previous empirical research of aid effectiveness at the country level, which has looked mainly at the relationship between aid and national aggregates, per capita GDP growth in particular. A specific concern of the paper is the impact of aid on the wealth, education and health of the poorest. Results indicate that while aid improves the well-being of the poorest groups, it is the richer groups that benefit the most.

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  • Does trust extend beyond the village? Experimental trust and social distance in Cameroon

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2009-07-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In this paper we use experimental data collected in rural Cameroon to quantify the effect of social distance on trust and altruism. Our measure of social distance is one that is relevant to everyday economic interactions: subjects in a Trust Game play with fellow villagers or with someone from a different village. We find that Senders in a Trust Game pass significantly more money to Recipients from their own village than to Recipients from a different village. To test for the possibility that Senders are motivated by unconditional kindness, they also play a Triple Dictator Game. We find that Senders pass significantly more money on average in the Trust Game than in the Triple Dictator Game, confirming that transfers in the Trust Game are partly motivated by Trust. However, there is also a social distance effect in the Triple Dictator Game, and around one third of the social distance effect in the Trust Game is due to greater unconditional kindness to fellow villagers. Results from a Risk Game suggest that Trust Game transfers are uncorrelated with attitudes to risk.

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  • Survey Trust, Experimental Trust and ROSCA Membership in Rural Cameroon

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2007-11-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Broadly speaking, economic experiments and surveys have found trust to be much lower in Africa than in industrialized countries. We analyze new experimental and survey results from rural Cameroon, where the average level of trust appears to be much higher than is typical of Africa. A substantial part of this difference can be explained by the prevalence of Rotating Saving and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) in the area: membership of a common ROSCA is one of the most important factors determining experimental behavior. Correspondingly, responses to the survey questions indicate that villagers have a high degree of trust in people with whom they interact regularly, though not in people in general. There is a significant correlation between the degree of trust exhibited in the game and the degree of trust declared in response to survey questions. However, survey responses do not capture all of the systematic variation in experimental behavior, and understate the importance of ROSCA membership in predicting someone’s propensity to trust others.

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  • Giving to Africa and Perceptions of Poverty

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2010-08-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We conduct a simple experiment in which student participants are invited to give some of the money that they have earned to an international development charity. In different treatments, participants are given different information about the country in which the donation will be spent. The information on the country includes the country’s income per capita and, in some treatments, different possible reasons as to why the country is poor. We find that experimental behaviour depends largely on the characteristics of the participant rather than on the treatment. The most important characteristics are the participant’s intended major subject, level of happiness and the frequency of religious activity.

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  • Alcohol Expenditure, Generosity and Empathy

    Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen; Robertson, Kirsten (2017-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Existing studies suggest that alcohol dependency (or recovery from alcohol dependency) is associated with lower levels of empathy and generosity. We present results from a charitable donation experiment which shows that in a student population, higher levels of alcohol expenditure are associated with significantly less generosity. However, there is no significant association between alcohol expenditure and empathy (as measured by the Empathy Quotient Scale), which suggests that the relationship between alcohol expenditure on generosity is mediated through some other channel.

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  • What Sort of People Vote Expressively

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2011)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Using a survey and an experiment, we identify the personal characteristics associated with the difference between an individual’s giving to charity and her vote in a referendum on charitable giving. Under certain circumstances, high levels of self-reported trust and happiness, and participation in social group activities, are associated with expressive voting for high levels of charitable giving. However, the sequencing of the experiments is of crucial importance. The ‘warm glow’ of expressive voting can influence subsequent individual decisions, and the ‘cold shower’ of individual selfishness can influence subsequent collective decisions.

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