In this study, we make a first attempt to investigate the mechanisms of conditional cooperation in giving outside experiments, using retrospective survey data on charitable giving (the Giving the Netherlands Panel Study 2005 (GINPS05, 2005; N = 1474)). Our results show that in the case of door-to-door donations, social information affects perceived social norms for giving and, through this perception, influences the level of actual donations. The effect of social information on actual door-to-door donations is fully mediated by perceived social norms for giving. Furthermore, we found empirical support for the giving standard hypothesis. People in different income categories donate roughly the same amounts in separate instances (they use the same social information), and as a result people in lower income households donate a higher percentage of their income to charitable organizations.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.