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When Identifying Contributors is Costly: An Experiment on Public Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Anya Samek

    () (Center for Economic and Social Research, University of Southern California, 635 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    (Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, 11119 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA)

Abstract

Studies show that identifying contributors increases contributions to public goods. In practice, viewing identifiable information is costly, which may discourage people from accessing it. We design a public goods experiment in which participants can pay to view information about identities and contributions of group members. We compare this to a treatment in which there is no identifiable information, and a treatment in which all contributors are identified. Our main findings are that: (i) contributions in the treatment with costly information are as high as those in the treatment with free information, (ii) participants rarely choose to view the information, and (iii) being a high contributor is correlated with choosing to view information about others.

Suggested Citation

  • Anya Samek & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "When Identifying Contributors is Costly: An Experiment on Public Goods," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 801-808, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:82:3:y:2016:p:801-808
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/soej.12116
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Goeschl, Timo & Jarke, Johannes, 2016. "Second and third party punishment under costly monitoring," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 124-133.
    2. Sven Christens & Astrid Dannenberg & Florian Sachs, 2017. "Identification of individuals and groups in a public goods experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201755, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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