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Can peers increase the voluntary contributions in community driven projects? Evidence from a field experiment

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  • Archambault, Caroline
  • Chemin, Matthieu
  • de Laat, Joost

Abstract

This paper explores whether peer effects increased voluntary contributions in a community electrification project in Kenya. The project organized 30 community mobilization meetings to encourage financial contributions. Ten “low” meetings included only low contributors, ten “high” meetings included only high contributors, while ten “mixed” meetings were composed of both high and low contributors. We then followed contributions over one year. Low contributors increased their contribution after mixed versus low meetings. Effects were asymmetric: high contributors did not contribute less following mixed versus high meetings. Organizing mixed meetings was thus a “win-win” for the project. Detailed qualitative observations of meeting attendees suggest that much of the exposure in mixed meetings to peer encouragement, project criticisms, and neutral learning about the project came from high contributors.

Suggested Citation

  • Archambault, Caroline & Chemin, Matthieu & de Laat, Joost, 2016. "Can peers increase the voluntary contributions in community driven projects? Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 62-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:132:y:2016:i:pa:p:62-77
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contributions; Peer effects; Participatory development; Field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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