PhD defence of Frank Hubers on Thursday 3 March 2016

On Thursday 3 March 2016 Frank Hubers will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Essays on the Determinants and Impact of Private Contributions to Public Goods'. Supervisor is Professor Dinand Webbink (Erasmus School of Economics). Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Professor Robert Dur (Erasmus School of Economics), Professor Ruerd Ruben (Wangeningen UR) and Dr. Josse Delfgaauw (Erasmus School of Economics).

About Frank Hubers

Frank Roeland Hubers was born in 1982 in Papendrecht, The Netherlands. He studied cultural anthropology at Utrecht University from 2002 to 2006, obtaining his Bachelor degree in 2005 and his Master degree in 2006 (cum laude). In 2008 he  obtained his diploma in the postgraduate dual program of international development studies at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. During the period 2008 to 2010 he worked for the Quality and Control department of Oxfam Novib, where he was responsible for monitoring and evaluation of development projects. In September 2010 he started as a researcher for the knowledge center ECSP and started his thesis at the Erasmus School of Economics in 2011. He is currently working as a lecturer in economics and anthropology at Webster University in Thailand.

Abstract of 'Essays on the Determinants and Impact of Private Contributions to Public Goods'

This dissertation contains four empirical studies that investigate the impact of specific private contributions to public outcomes and the specific determinants of philanthropic giving.

The first study investigates the effect of request size on the willingness to donate, by exploiting exogenous variation in request size from a natural experiment. It also investigate the importance of mood by exploiting variation in mood due to the outcome of the Dutch soccer competition.

The second study investigates if showing inequality affects teenager’s preferences for redistribution, with data from a field experiment. The participants of the experiment, all pupils between 12 and 16 years old, were randomly assigned to watch a film about people living in poverty, and invited to play incentivized games and given the opportunity to donate a proportion of the earned money to charity.

The third essay examines the impact of the implementation of Fair Trade labour standards for artisanal gold miners in Ghana. Artisanal gold mining poses severe health and safety risks to the miners and their family members. To evaluate the effect of this intervention on the gold miners, I use a difference-in-difference approach, in which respondents that work for Fair Trade mines are compared over time with respondents that work for comparable control mines.

The fourth essay explores the hidden costs of a specific case of compulsory public good provision. It investigates the long-term effects of peacetime military conscription on educational attainment and earnings, by exploiting a policy change that exempted a complete birth cohort from military service.  

More information

For more information about this ceremony, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of the Erasmus School of Economics phone +31 10 408 1762 or by e-mail: