Article

Do people avoid opportunities to donate?: A natural field experiment on recycling and charitable giving

Citation

Knutsson M, Martinsson P & Wollbrant C (2013) Do people avoid opportunities to donate?: A natural field experiment on recycling and charitable giving. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 93, pp. 71-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2013.07.015

Abstract
We use a natural field experiment to investigate the hypothesis that generosity is partly involuntary, by examining whether individuals tend to avoid opportunities to act generously. In Sweden, new recycling machines for bottles and cans with an option of donating the returned deposit to charity were gradually introduced in one of the largest store chains. We find a substantial decline in recycling the month these new machines were introduced and a further decline in the following months. These results indicate that individuals avoid opportunities to act generously and corroborate findings from both lab and field studies supporting the claim that generous behavior is partly involuntary.

Keywords
Generosity; Donations; Natural field experiment; Avoidance behavior

Journal
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization: Volume 93

StatusPublished
FundersSwedish Research Council
Publication date30/09/2013
Publication date online31/08/2013
Date accepted by journal27/07/2013
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/28764
PublisherElsevier BV
ISSN0167-2681
eISSN1879-1751