Working paper

Charitable Giving, Self-Image and Personality

Carlos Cueva, and Roberta Dessi


We provide an experimental test of the role of self-signaling in decisions to do- nate to charity. Our data strongly supports the theoretical prediction of a non- monotonic, hill-shaped relationship between self-confidence, proxied by the Social Potency personality trait, and prosocial behavior motivated by image concerns. Making self-image concerns more salient can more than double donations by indi- viduals with medium self-confidence.

JEL codes

  • D01: Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
  • D03: Behavioral Microeconomics • Underlying Principles
  • D64: Altruism • Philanthropy

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 12-342, October 11, 2012