On reminder effects, drop-outs and dominance: evidence from an online experiment on charitable giving

Axel Sonntag, Daniel John Zizzo

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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We present the results of an experiment that (a) shows the usefulness of screening out drop-outs and (b) tests whether different methods of payment and reminder intervals affect charitable giving. Following a lab session, participants could make online donations to charity for a total duration of three months. Our procedure justifying the exclusion of drop-outs consists in requiring participants to collect payments in person flexibly and as known in advance and as highlighted to them later. Our interpretation is that participants who failed to collect their positive payments under these circumstances are likely not to satisfy dominance. If we restrict the sample to subjects who did not drop out, but not otherwise, reminders significantly increase the overall amount of charitable giving. We also find that weekly reminders are no more effective than monthly reminders in increasing charitable giving, and that, in our three months duration experiment, standing orders do not increase giving relative to one-off donations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0134705
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Early online date7 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2015


  • drop-outs
  • methodology
  • charitable giving
  • payment method
  • reminders
  • nudges

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