Recognizing large donations to public goods: an experimental test
Private charities often publicise generous individual contributions or contributors, possibly to encourage others to give. In contrast, public good experiments used to study voluntary giving commonly tell participants only of total contributions. This paper reports an experimental test of the effect on contributions of supplying additional selective information. A control treatment is run that reveals only total contributions over ten one-shot decision rounds. This is compared to a second treatment that also informs subjects of the maximum contribution made in their group after each round. In a third treatment, subjects are further given the opportunity to make costly rewards to the maximum contributor. Revealing generous contributions appears to raise average contributions slightly. Surprisingly, adding the ability to reward large contributors does little to generate further increases, though it significantly raises the variance of contributions. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 23 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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