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A Prize To Give For: An Experiment on Public Good Funding Mechanisms

  • Luca Corazzini
  • Marco Faravelli
  • Luca Stanca

This article investigates fund-raising mechanisms based on a prize as a way to overcome free riding in the private provision of public goods. We focus on an environment characterised by income heterogeneity and incomplete information about income levels. Our analysis compares experimentally the performance of a lottery, an all-pay auction and a benchmark voluntary contribution mechanism. We find that prize-based mechanisms perform better than voluntary contribution in terms of public good provision. Contrary to the theoretical predictions, contributions are significantly higher in the lottery than in the all-pay auction, both overall and by individual income types. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02314.x
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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 547 (09)
Pages: 944-967

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:547:p:944-967
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  1. Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Rob Moir & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 1998-04, McMaster University.
  2. Saijo, Tatsuyoshi, 2008. "Spiteful Behavior in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Experiments," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  3. Henrik Orzen, 2005. "Fundraising through Competition: Evidence from the Lab," Discussion Papers 2005-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  5. Marco Faravelli, 2008. "The Important Thing Is not (Always) Winning but Taking Part: Funding Public Goods with Contests," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0802, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  6. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
  7. Jacob K. Goeree & Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal & John L. Turner, 2005. "How (Not) to Raise Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 897-926, August.
  8. Arthur J.H.C. Schram & Sander Onderstal, 2009. "Bidding To Give: An Experimental Comparison Of Auctions For Charity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 431-457, 05.
  9. Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-02, McMaster University.
  10. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
  11. Morgan, John, 2000. "Financing Public Goods by Means of Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 761-84, October.
  12. Morgan, John & Sefton, Martin, 2000. "Funding Public Goods with Lotteries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 785-810, October.
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