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Winning and Giving: Football Results and Alumni Giving at Selective Private Colleges and Universities

Publication Abstract

Turner, Sarah E., L.A. Meserve, and W.G. Bowen. 2001. "Winning and Giving: Football Results and Alumni Giving at Selective Private Colleges and Universities." Social Science Quarterly, 82(4): 812-826.

Objective. Our central question is how changes in an institution's football success affect giving behavior. Also, we consider whether former varsity athletes are more or less sensitive in their giving behavior than other alumni to the competitive success of their school and whether such effects differ by type of institution. Methods. Using micro data from 15 academically selective private colleges and universities, the analysis presents fixed-effects estimates of how football winning percentages affect giving behavior. Results. General giving rates are unaffected by won-lost records at the high-profile Division IA schools and at the Ivy League schools. Increases in winning percentages yield modest positive increases in giving rates, particularly among former atheletes, at the lower-profile Division III liberal arts colleges. Conclusions. Mile there is a modest positive effect at Division III colleges, our results do not support the notion that winning and giving go hand-in-hand at the selective private universities that play big-time football.

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