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Using Lotteries To Finance Public Goods: Theory And Experimental Evidence

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  • Andreas Lange
  • John A. List
  • Michael K. Price

Abstract

This study explores the economics of charitable fund-raising. We begin by developing theory that examines the optimal lottery design while explicitly relaxing both risk-neutrality and preference homogeneity assumptions. We test our theory using a battery of experimental treatments and find that our theoretical predictions are largely confirmed. Specifically, we find that single- and multiple-prize lotteries dominate the voluntary contribution mechanism both in total dollars raised and the number of contributors attracted. Moreover, we find that the optimal fund-raising mechanism depends critically on the risk postures of potential contributors and preference heterogeneity. Copyright 2007 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2007. "Using Lotteries To Finance Public Goods: Theory And Experimental Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 901-927, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:48:y:2007:i:3:p:901-927
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    References listed on IDEAS

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