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Nudging museums attendance: a field experiment with high school teens


  • Patrizia Lattarulo

    () (Villa La Quiete alle Montalve)

  • Marco Mariani

    () (Villa La Quiete alle Montalve)

  • Laura Razzolini

    () (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Abstract This paper reports results from a field experiment conducted to study the effect of incentives offered to high school teens to motivate them to visit art museums. A vast literature exists on the design of incentives to modify the behavior of firms and consumers, but not much is known about incentives offered to adolescents and young adults to affect their cultural consumption behavior. Students in the first treatment receive a flier with basic information and opening hours of a main museum in Florence, Italy—Palazzo Vecchio. Students in the second treatment receive the flier and a short presentation conducted by an art expert about the exhibit; students in the third treatment, in addition to the flier and the presentation, receive also a non-financial reward in the form of extra-credit points toward their school grade. The analysis yields two main findings. First, non-financial reward is more effective at inducing the students to undertake the encouraged visit than either the simple presentation or the basic information with the flier. Second, over a longer time horizon the non-financial reward does not induce a significant change in behavior with respect to the simple presentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrizia Lattarulo & Marco Mariani & Laura Razzolini, 2017. "Nudging museums attendance: a field experiment with high school teens," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 41(3), pages 259-277, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:41:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10824-016-9285-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-016-9285-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Forastiere & Patrizia Lattarulo & Marco Mariani & Fabrizia Mealli & Laura Razzolini, 2019. "Exploring encouragement, treatment and spillover effects using principal stratification, with application to a field experiment on teens' museum attendance," Natural Field Experiments 00673, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:70:y:2018:i:3:p:680-698. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Roberto Cellini & Tiziana Cuccia, 2018. "How free admittance affects charged visits to museums: an analysis of the Italian case," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 680-698.

    More about this item


    Incentives; Non-monetary rewards; Cultural consumption; Cluster-randomized experiment; Randomization inference;

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy


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