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  • Bracha, Anat
  • Menietti, Michael
  • Vesterlund, Lise
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    Abstract

    The public phase of a capital campaign is typically launched with the announcement of a large seed donation. Andreoni (1998) argues that such a fundraising strategy may be particularly effective when funds are being raised for projects that have fixed production costs. The reason is that when there are fixed costs of production simultaneous giving may result in both positive and zero provision equilibria. Thus absent announcements donors may get stuck in an equilibrium that fails to provide a desirable public project. Andreoni (1998) demonstrates that such inferior outcomes can be eliminated when the fundraiser initially secures a sufficiently large seed donation. We investigate this model experimentally to determine whether announcements of seed money eliminate the inefficiencies that may result under fixed costs and simultaneous provision. To assess the strength of the theory we examine the effect of announcements in both the presence and absence of fixed costs. Our findings are supportive of the theory for sufficiently high fixed costs.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272710001507
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

    Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 416-427

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:5:p:416-427

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

    Related research

    Keywords: Fundraising; Seed money; Sequential giving; Charitable giving; Coordination; Public goods;

    References

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    1. James Andreoni & William T. harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-01, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 20 Aug 2002.
    2. James Andreoni, 1998. "Toward a Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1186-1213, December.
    3. Cooper, Russell & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1993. "Forward Induction in the Battle-of-the-Sexes Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1303-16, December.
    4. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
    5. Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00322, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Andreoni,J. & Brown,P.M. & Vesterlund,L., 1999. "What makes an allocation fair? : Some experimental evidence," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    7. Sefton, Martin & Steinberg, Richard, 1996. "Reward structures in public good experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-287, August.
    8. van Dijk, Frans & Sonnemans, Joep & van Winden, Frans, 2002. "Social ties in a public good experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 275-299, August.
    9. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "Expressed Preferences and Behavior in Experimental Games," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt153590pb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    10. Ledyard, John O., . "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Working Papers 861, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    11. Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
    12. Laury, Susan K. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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    14. Andreoni,J., 2002. "Leadership giving in charitable fund-raising," Working papers 13, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    15. Gächter, Simon & Nosenzo, Daniele & Renner, Elke & Sefton, Martin, 2010. "Sequential vs. simultaneous contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 515-522, August.
    16. Dorsey, Robert E, 1992. " The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism with Real Time Revisions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 261-82, April.
    17. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    18. Jan Potters & Martin Sefton & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 169-182, October.
    19. Roberto Weber & Colin Camerer & Marc Knez, 2004. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and “Weak Link†Coordination Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-48, February.
    20. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
    21. Keser, Claudia, 1996. "Voluntary contributions to a public good when partial contribution is a dominant strategy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 359-366, March.
    22. Mana Komai & Mark Stegeman & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2007. "Leadership and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 944-947, June.
    23. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
    24. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
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