Follow the Leader or Follow Anyone - Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment
AbstractIn a fundraising field experiment we show that individuals are not only conditionally cooperative, but that they are also more prone to donate to a homeless individual when the previous donor has a higher social status. We trailed a homeless person asking for donations within Cologne's metro trains for two weeks. Thereby we systematically varied the status of the first giver in the train. In the control treatment we did not intervene. In the low status treatment the first giver was always a (poor looking) low status person from our team and correspondingly in the high status treatment a (rich looking) high status person. In our experiment the probability to receive a donation in a train is 65% higher in the low status treatment than in the control treatment. Additionally, in comparison to the low status treatment, the probability increases by 22% in the high status treatment. To our best knowledge this is the first study providing field evidence for the particular influence of high status individuals on others' economic activities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences in its series Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series with number 03-04.
Date of creation: 10 Mar 2012
Date of revision: 20 Jan 2013
status; fundraising; field experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-04-03 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-04-03 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-04-03 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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