Title

Individual Preferences Over Development Projects: Evidence from Microlending on Kiva

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2012

Publication Title

Voluntas

Department

International Political Economy

Abstract

Peer-to-peer microfinance connects philanthropic citizens with poor entrepreneurs in the developing world, offering new ways to channel charitable contributions. Although the literature suggests that donors’ perceptions of effectiveness affect charitable giving, very little is known about what types of projects individuals perceive as more effective. Using data from Kiva.org, this article presents evidence on the relative popularity of competing development projects. We present estimates of the impact of publicly visible project characteristics on funding speed. Assuming that Kiva lenders are motivated by poverty alleviation, the results shed light on individual philanthropists’ perception of project effectiveness. Knowing this can help practitioners design fundraising strategies more effectively, especially for projects that are inherently less popular.

Volume

23

Issue

4

pp.

1036-1055

ISSN

0957-8765