Derrick Xu 徐明垚

I am a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Bristol, supervised by Profs Sarah Smith and Yanos Zylberberg. I am an applied microeconomist with interests in public economics and environmental economics. I am currently working on topics such as charitable giving, climate change, and emotional decisions.

I have a strong interest in 

You can access my CV here.

Contact: derrick.xu[at]  

Working Paper

This paper provides novel evidence on the spillover effect of negative reputation shocks affecting a charity on donations to other charities. I identify negative reputation shocks to large charities by using sentiment analysis on the universe of news articles in the United Kingdom. I then link these large charities to all other charities by constructing measures of textual similarity between charities’ mission statements. I find that a negative reputation shock to a charity increases donations to other charities that share similar objectives. This finding is consistent with the charity market being a differentiated market in which donors care about charities’ missions and substitute across charities with similar objectives. 

How directly do people need to experience climate change to change their actions? Using real donation records spanning a decade from 90,000 donors in England, I show that people are more likely to donate to environmental charities after direct exposure to a flood affecting their own postcode. However, the same is not true when a flood affects their close neighbors, even those within 200 meters. This localized response also extends to public support for the Green Party. Underlying the behavioral effect, I show that people tend to reassess their own environmental effort as not enough after direct flood experience. These results suggest an "only in my backyard" phenomenon, where people act only when personally affected by climate consequences. This offers a possible explanation for the widespread perception of global warming as a severe threat in the UK, yet still insufficient public responses.

Research in Progress


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