Limited time to make a change : an investigation into charitable behaviour around a deadline.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
I conduct a laboratory experiment to analyse the effect of deadlines and deadline length on charitable giving. Individuals may postpone or procrastinate making a donation, and then forget about doing so due to inattention. This behavioural problem is called inertia. In other contexts, deadlines are a useful tool to prevent inertia. I examine their use in the context of charitable giving using a dictator game where the recipient is a local charity. Participants are either constrained by a one week deadline, a two week deadline, or no deadline. I find no statistically significant evidence of an inertia effect in charitable giving. Furthermore, I find no evidence that the use of a deadline increases the number of donations, or the average donation of participants. The length of the deadline does not change this result. Examining positive donations, there is a significantly higher average donation with the use of a two week deadline compared to no deadline, but this result does not carry through to other comparisons. Overall, I find that deadlines do not appear to help, nor hinder, charitable campaigns.