School of Economics

2009 Discussion Papers

School of Economics Discussion Paper 09/24
December 2009

Does category reporting increase donations to charity?
A signalling game approach.

Edward Cartwright¹ and Amrish Patel²

¹ School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP, UK
² Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden.


Many charities report donations using categories. We question whether such category reporting increases donations in a signalling game where a donor is either generous or not generous. Conditions are derived under which category reporting will increase giving or decrease giving. Category reporting will increase giving if the probability a donor is generous is low and/or donor preferences depend a lot on type.

JEL Classification: C72, H41.

Keywords: Public good, charity, category reporting, signalling

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