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Putting Your Money Where Your Political Mouth Is

Three AAEA members’ research in AEPP

10-25% of Americans approve of public action but are not willing to donate money privately for a social cause. This means that people might be more willing to give to a cause if there is also public policy for the same cause. In an Applied Economic Perspective & Policy article “I Will Give You My Vote but Not My Money: Preferences for Public versus Private Action in Addressing Social Issues,” three AAEA members look into why people often support public action to confront a social issue, but will not put their money where their mouth is.

Authors Franklin Bailey Norwood from Oklahoma State University, Glynn Tonsor from Kansas State University, and Jayson Lusk from Purdue University, find that when it comes to fixing social problems, to show public support, it might be best if governmental groups partner with charitable organizations.

Norwood says, “We asked some open ended questions regarding why people would support a law to confront a social issue but not donate their own money. The results suggest most of these individuals want something to be done but want someone else to pay for it. Others believe government would do a better job than charitable organizations, and some see raising money through taxes rather than charity as being more practical.”

This article is open to the public for a limited time.

If you are interested in setting up an interview with an author, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
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(414) 918-3190