Do Race And Fairness Matter In Generosity? Evidence From A Nationally Representative Charity Experiment

Date Added: Jun 2009
Format: PDF

The authors present a dictator game experiment where the recipients are local charities that serve the poor. Donors consist of approximately 1000 participants from a nationally representative respondent panel that is maintained by a private survey research firm, Knowledge Networks. They randomly manipulate the perceived race and worthiness of the charity recipients by showing respondents an audiovisual presentation about the recipients. There is now broad agreement among social scientists that race and fairness are two of the most important determinants of generosity to the poor. Empirical evidence from many different levels of analysis points to significant, and often substantial, effects of racial and ethnic group loyalty on redistribution. Across countries, those with more racial or ethnic fractionalization have less governmental redistribution.