The Role of Beauty in Donation Crowdfunding

AbstractThis study examines the effect of physical attractiveness of recipients on donation decisions in a prosocial microlending market by combining both archival data analysis and a controlled experiment. We show that attractiveness of female recipients matters to donors. More attractive recipients tend to have a larger share of male donors, implying that male (female) donors are more (less) favorable toward those recipients. On the contrary, the attractiveness of male recipients did not change the composition significantly. These findings have implications for the beauty effect in crowd-driven platforms and provide guidance for recipients seeking donation from crowds.

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