Working Papers

Allocation choice in charitable giving: a natural field experiment 

My first paper (SSRN link) examines whether and why charitable giving increases if donors have more choice about how their donations are used, in which choice consists of allowing donors to allocate their gift to three projects the way they prefer. In this project, I have partnered with the Down Syndrome Albania Foundation and 22 firms that support this NGO, and found that allowing donors to allocate their gifts increased giving mainly because they could target the projects they like. 

Work in progress

Autonomous motivation and prosocial behavior: a natural field experiment with volunteers AEA RCT Registry (2023 Young Economist Award - Czech Economic Association)

In the second project, I examine whether and why volunteers exert more effort when they can choose their volunteering task, and whether choosing increases the willingness to volunteer in the future. Further,  I benchmark the effect of choice with the effect of paying ex-post the best volunteers contingent on their performance.  In a natural field experiment, and in collaboration with a UNICEF-funded NGO, over 4400 students in four public high schools in Tirana were asked to write awareness messages for one of the following causes: bullying, depression, and social inclusion of people with disabilities. Treatments varied in whether students were allowed to choose the task or be matched with a random task, have their abilities matched with the task, and receive a large ex-post reward. I find that having choice increases the volunteering output by 31\% and leads to greater quality and willingness to volunteer in the future. Further, I provide causal evidence that ability-matching is a mechanism at work . Lastly, the results suggest that it is cost-effective to offer volunteers choice rather than money. 

In the third project, I propose a natural field experiment to change parents' unrealistic aspirations regarding college education for children in the last grade of middle school. The main research question is whether individualized information about the probability of college eligibility in Albania will affect the secondary education choices that parents make for their children. We hypothesize that parents misperceive this probability, and that is the source of generating unrealistic aspirations. Lastly, this study may shed light on the role of hope in aspirations.  For this project, I already have a pre-confirmation of collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the National Agency for Employment and Skills, and we intend to design a nationwide natural field experiment in over 200 schools.