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Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods

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  • Anya Savikhin

    ()
    (Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory, The University of Chicago)

  • Roman Sheremeta

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the impact of visibility of information about contributors on contributions in the public goods game. We systematically consider several treatments that are similar to a wide range of situations in practice. First, we vary the cost of viewing identifiable information about contributors. Second, we vary recognizing all, top or bottom contributors. We find that recognizing all contributors significantly increases contributions relative to the baseline. Recognizing only the top contributors is not significantly different from not recognizing contributors, but recognizing only the bottom contributors is as effective as recognizing all contributors. When viewing information about contributors is costly, there is no significant difference in contributions as compared to the case where all contributors are displayed by default. This effect holds even though the identities of contributors are viewed less than ten percent of the time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 10-22.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:10-22

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Keywords: public-goods; information; competition;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mago, Shakun & Samak, Anya & Sheremeta, Roman, 2013. "Facing Your Opponents: Social Identification and Information Feedback in Contests," MPRA Paper 47029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. James Andreoni & Laura K. Gee, 2011. "Gun For Hire: Does Delegated Enforcement Crowd out Peer Punishment in Giving to Public Goods?," NBER Working Papers 17033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fatima Lambarraa & Gerhard Riener, 2012. "On the Norms of Charitable Giving in Islam: A Field Experiment," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 111, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  4. Bracha, Anat & Vesterlund, Lise, 2013. "How low can you go? Charity reporting when donations signal income and generosity," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 13-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. Matthew W. McCarter & Anya C. Samak & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Divided Loyalties or Conditional Cooperation? An experimental study of contributions to multiple public goods," Working Papers, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute 13-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  6. Andreoni, James & Gee, Laura K., 2012. "Gun for hire: Delegated enforcement and peer punishment in public goods provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1036-1046.
  7. Bernd Irlenbusch & Rainer Michael Rilke, 2013. "(Public) Good Examples - On the Role of Limited Feedback in Voluntary Contribution Games," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences 04-04, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.

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