“Facta non verba”: an experiment on pledging and giving
Angela Sutan  1, *@  , Radu Vranceanu  2@  , Gilles Grolleau  3@  
1 : Université Bourgogne Franche Comté  (LESSAC - BSB)
Burgundy School of Business
29 Rue Sambin 21000 Dijon -  France
2 : ESSEC Business School
ESSEC Business School
Cergy -  France
Burgundy School of Business
29 rue Sambin 21000 Dijon -  France
* : Corresponding author

This paper builds an experiment to investigate whether asking people to state how much they will donate to a charity (to pledge) can increase their actual donation. Individuals' endowment is either certain or a random variable. We study different types of pledges, namely private, public and irrevocable ones, which differ in individual cost of not keeping a promise. Public pledges appear to be associated to lower donation levels. Irrevocable pledges ensure an amount of donations equal to donations in absence of pledges. Moreover, a significant number of individuals keep their promises, in presence of either private or public pledges. A higher risk attached to the endowment increases donations.

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