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Pay-What-You-Want to support independent information - A field experiment on motivation

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandra Casarico

    () (Bocconi University, Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management)

  • Mirco Tonin

    () (Free University of Bolzano‐Bozen, Faculty of Economics and Management)

Abstract

Pay-what-you-want schemes can be a useful tool to finance high quality and independent news media without restricting readership, therefore guaranteeing maximum diffusion. We conduct a field experiment with the Italian information site lavoce.info to explore how to structure a campaign in a way that maximises readers' willingness to contribute. We compare messages stressing two possible motivations to contribute, namely the public good component of the news or the importance of the individual contributions. We also test the effect of including information about the tax allowance associated with donations. While the particular motivation stressed does not have a significant impact, information about tax allowances surprisingly reduces overall donations, due to a reduction in the number of (small) donors. Stable unsubscriptions from the newsletter suggest that the campaign does not have an adverse effect on readers.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Casarico & Mirco Tonin, 2018. "Pay-What-You-Want to support independent information - A field experiment on motivation," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS48, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
  • Handle: RePEc:bzn:wpaper:bemps48
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiment; Pay-what-you-want; Tax allowances; Media;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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