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Recognizing large donations to public goods: an experimental test

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  • Jeremy Clark

    (Department of Economics, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand)

Abstract

Private charities often publicise generous individual contributions or contributors, possibly to encourage others to give. In contrast, public good experiments used to study voluntary giving commonly tell participants only of total contributions. This paper reports an experimental test of the effect on contributions of supplying additional selective information. A control treatment is run that reveals only total contributions over ten one-shot decision rounds. This is compared to a second treatment that also informs subjects of the maximum contribution made in their group after each round. In a third treatment, subjects are further given the opportunity to make costly rewards to the maximum contributor. Revealing generous contributions appears to raise average contributions slightly. Surprisingly, adding the ability to reward large contributors does little to generate further increases, though it significantly raises the variance of contributions. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/mde.1044
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Managerial and Decision Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 33-44

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Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:23:y:2002:i:1:p:33-44

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976

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  1. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. David L. Dickinson & R. Mark Isaac, 1998. "Absolute and relative rewards for individuals in team production," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 299-310.
  3. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  4. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  5. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  6. Romano, Richard & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2001. "Why charities announce donations: a positive perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 423-447, September.
  7. Rachel T. A. Croson, 2007. "Theories Of Commitment, Altruism And Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 199-216, 04.
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