Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Economics and Finance

First Advisor

David Finnoff


Donations are important for the long-term survival of many institutions. However, it is still uncertain exactly why it is that people choose to donate. Behavioral economics combines economics with psychology to better understand how humans make choices in markets. This research project focuses on the psychology of charitable giving, nudges, and the impact of natural resource rents on charitable giving. Without understanding individuals, it is impossible to understand why they donate. Nudges seek to take what has been learned about individuals to manipulate them into behaving the way policy makers desire. Natural resource rents are another facet to consider in determining how people behave. The main question of this research paper is if charitable giving is decreased by large natural resource rents in a state.