Paul L. Caron

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Freakonomics: Is Charitable Giving Affected by the Attractiveness of Tax Preparers?

Freakonomics (2013)Freakonomics:  Should H&R Block Hire Models to Increase Charitable Giving?:

Your comments and e-mails were also a great window into a better understanding of what makes someone want to donate to a given cause or not. You pointed out incentives we overlooked, or overvalued, or undervalued. ... Here, for instance, is one my favorite comments, from a reader named Eric Kennedy:

[Y]ou forgot a primary reason why people donate to charity: to impress their attractive tax preparers. I’m not kidding. I’m very attractive and worked as a tax preparer for two years. I’ve seen this first-hand. I now find myself considering the impression I will make on my attractive tax preparer. The most effective way to boost nation-wide charitable giving, would be to staff H&R Block with models and encourage them to make comments about the size of people’s annual donation amounts.

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Freakanomics is a parody of the field: a lot of brainpower applied to increasingly trivial issues.

Posted by: michael livingston | Oct 17, 2013 2:09:34 AM