Too Cold for Warm Glow? Christmas-Season Effects in Charitable Giving
25 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2017 Last revised: 18 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 2018
This paper analyzes seasonal effects and their potential drivers in charitable giving. We analyze whether donations differ between the pre-Christmas shopping season and summer. Our experiment aims to minimize confounding factors and controls for donor heterogeneity. We find that prosocial subjects significantly reduce donations by almost one half in the pre-Christmas shopping season. We identify stress and savings as significant drivers of this result. First, the higher subjects' reported stress level in the Christmas season relative to the rest of the year, the lower donations. Second, the higher relative savings, the lower giving. Moreover, the negative relation between stress and donations is only significant for prosocial subjects, which explains the observed seasonal effect. Our findings provide important managerial insights for the timing and design of fundraising campaigns.
Keywords: Charitable Giving, Experiment, Seasonal Effects
JEL Classification: C91, D64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation