International Tax and Public Finance

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1026–1049 | Cite as

Information, belief elicitation and threshold effects in the 5X1000 tax scheme: a framed field experiment

  • Leonardo Becchetti
  • Vittorio PelligraEmail author
  • Tommaso Reggiani


In this paper, we study by means of a framed field experiment on a representative sample of the population the effect on people’s charitable giving of three, substantial and procedural, elements: information provision, belief elicitation and threshold on distribution. We frame this investigation within the 5X1000 tax scheme, a mechanism through which Italian taxpayers may choose to give a small proportion (0.5%) of their income tax to a voluntary organization to fund its activities. We find two main results: (i) providing information or eliciting beliefs about previous donations increases the likelihood of a donation, while thresholds have no effect; (ii) information about previous funding increases donations to organizations that received fewer donations in the past, while belief elicitation also increases donations to organizations that received most donations in the past, since individuals are more likely to donate to the organizations they rank first.


Charitable giving Framed field experiment Social information effect Inequity aversion 

JEL Classification

C91 D64 H00 



We thank Maria Bigoni, Federico Revelli, Rainer Michael Rilke, Matteo Rizzolli, Robert Sudgen, Daniel Zizzo and an anonymous referee for helpful comments on a previous version of the paper, as well as the participants to the Behavioral Science and Policy—Network for the Integrated Behavioral Science Annual Conference, Nottingham, 21-23/04/2015. Financial support from CSV-Sardegna Solidale is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (docx 23 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Law and InstitutionsUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics and AdministrationMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.CEISRomeItaly
  5. 5.CRENoSCagliariItaly
  6. 6.IZABonnGermany

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