In this episode, Prof. Abigail Payne explores why someone gives to charity and how charities can utilize their donations by understanding incentives and motivations.
Professor A. Abigail Payne is the Director of the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research and the Ronald Henderson Professor of Economics. Professor Payne holds a PhD from Princeton University, a J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a Bachelor’s Degree (with honours) from Denison University. Professor Payne has a longstanding research interest in empirical public economics issues with a focus on how government policy affects spending and performance. Her work encompasses educational issues such as understanding successful transitions from high school to university, why there are gender gaps in STEM enrollments, and the role of scholarships on university participation, especially those from low-income backgrounds. She also studies charitable giving (e.g. what motivates individuals to donate), the role of government funding on service provision, and how tax policy affects giving and the delivery of public services. Her scholarship demonstrates how best to use big data for economic research and the issues involved in accessing and using these data. She has initiated several key projects in Australia that relate to entrenched disadvantage, charitable giving, educational performance. She is actively involved in Australian economic and social policy as a member of multiple State and Commonwealth Government and University of Melbourne committees. Internationally she is a member of the Ifo Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and a number of boards and co-editorships.