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Viewers like you: community norms and contributions to public broadcasting

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  • Knack, Stephen
  • Kropf, Martha

Abstract

The logic of collective action (Olson 1965) suggests that public broadcasting may be underprovided, because non-contributors are not excluded from receiving the benefits. Why do so many individuals voluntarily contribute to public television, even though they can obtain the benefits of public television without contributing? We explore the hypothesis that giving to public broadcasting is determined in part by the strength of "civic norms" that limit the opportunistic behavior of individuals in large-numbers prisoners' dilemma settings. We also explore a variety of other explanations for charitable giving and collective action, including group size, tax deductibility, crowd out, and selective incentives. Our findings provide evidence linking civic norms and giving to public broadcasting. Education and income have indirect effects through strengthening civic norms. We find some evidence that selective incentives increase the average size of contributions among those who contribute.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27248.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Political Researcg Quarterly 2.56(2003): pp. 187-197
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27248

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Related research

Keywords: collective action; selective incentives; norms; free riding; social capital; public goods;

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  1. Smith, Vincent H. & Kehoe, Michael R. & Cremer, Mary E., 1995. "The private provision of public goods: Altruism and voluntary giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-126, September.
  2. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
  3. Ribar, D.C. & Wilhelm, M.O., 1993. "Charitable Contributions to International Relief and Development," Papers, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics 1-93-1a, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, Ekim.
  5. Goetze, Linda & Glover, T F & Biswas, B, 1993. " The Effects of Group Size and Income on Contributions to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 407-14, October.
  6. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  7. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  8. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486, March.
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