University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > CJBS Marketing Group Seminars > Passing the Buck to the Wealthier

Passing the Buck to the Wealthier

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How much do people believe that they and others should donate to charity? Across four studies, we find evidence of reference dependence in how individuals evaluate how much those who earn a given income should donate to charity. Expected donation obligations depend not just on how much a target individual earns, but also on how much more or less the evaluator earns relative to that target. Specifically, we find that individuals believe those wealthier than them have more spare money, and therefore should donate more to charity, than what those richer others evaluate for themselves. Conversely, individuals believe those poorer than them have less spare money, and therefore should donate less to charity, than what those poorer others evaluate for themselves. These judgments hold regardless of whether participants evaluate themselves if they earned more money or evaluate others who earn different incomes from the self. Across all incomes assessed, we find that people pass donation obligations onto wealthier others, who in turn, pass on donation obligations onto even wealthier others.

This talk is part of the CJBS Marketing Group Seminars series.

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