Information Provision on Tax Benefits for Charitable Giving
Last registered on April 09, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Information Provision on Tax Benefits for Charitable Giving
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003658
Initial registration date
February 18, 2019
Last updated
April 09, 2019 12:10 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
ESMT Berlin
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-03-04
End date
2019-06-04
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Most governments of developed countries offer some form of tax benefits to encourage charitable giving. The efficacy of such policies eventually depends on whether donors are attentive towards these policies and what (mis)perception donors have. A rich tax literature has demonstrated that consumers are inattentive to value-added taxes when they are not salient and that individuals have misperceptions concerning complex tax incentives. There is little evidence whether salience and information provision of tax deductions might matter for donations. Furthermore, it is not clear whether the results from previous studies in the tax literature that test for salience and information provision would translate to charitable giving, since making extrinsic incentives more salient could potentially crowd out intrinsic motivation. Whether more salient tax incentives and information provision could induce donors to give more is therefore an empirical question. This research project aims to answer this question by conducting an online field experiment on Germany's largest online platform for charitable giving. The intervention will take place on the payment page of the platform, where potential donors decide how much they wish to donate, after which they should fill in the required fields and complete the payment for the donation. For each website visitor, I exogenously vary whether information is provided on tax benefits.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Teirlinck, Marrit. 2019. "Information Provision on Tax Benefits for Charitable Giving." AEA RCT Registry. April 09. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3658/history/44794
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In the treatment group the potential donor is will receive information on tax benefits for donations in Germany. The intervention is implemented on the payment page of the platform and the information will be provided at the moment when the donor is deciding for the amount to donate. The control group will see the regular payment page as it is currently set up on the platform without any information on tax deductions for donations.
Intervention Start Date
2019-03-04
Intervention End Date
2019-06-04
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The average donation.
Intrinsic margin: average donations conditional on donating.
Extrinsic margin: the donation rate.
Changes in the distribution of donations across treatment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The experimental data will be supplemented with income data at the district level. This will be used to analyze whether responsiveness to the information treatment is different across income levels.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The intervention will take place on the payment page of the platform, where the potential donors decides for their final donation amount, completes the required fields and completes the payment for the donation. For each website visitor, I exogenously vary the
information that is displayed on tax deductions.
Treatment 1: Control Group. Visitors that are assigned to the control group will see the regular payment page as it is currently set up on the platform, without any information on tax deductions for donations.
Treatment 2: Information Provision on Tax Savings. In the treatment group the potential donor is will receive information on tax benefits for donations in Germany. An approximated tax savings amount is displayed, which is based on the average earner in Germany, and is dependent on the donation amount the donor picks. Additionally the donor can select a different income bracket in a drop down menu to obtain an more precise approximation according to his or her income bracket.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
website session level
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
about 120.000 observations
Sample size: planned number of observations
about 120.000 observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
about 60.000 per group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations are calculated using data from previous experiments run on the platform. The main outcome of interests is the average donation across treatments. The standard deviation of the average donation in the sample was 15.5 euro. With 60.000 observations, the minimum detectable effect size is 0.0162 standard deviation for the average donation (alpha = 0. 5, power = 80%).
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Research Evaluation Committee ESMT Berlin
IRB Approval Date
2019-01-30
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers