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Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods

Author

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  • Anya Savikhin

    (Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory, The University of Chicago)

  • Roman Sheremeta

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the impact of visibility of information about contributors on contributions in the public goods game. We systematically consider several treatments that are similar to a wide range of situations in practice. First, we vary the cost of viewing identifiable information about contributors. Second, we vary recognizing all, top or bottom contributors. We find that recognizing all contributors significantly increases contributions relative to the baseline. Recognizing only the top contributors is not significantly different from not recognizing contributors, but recognizing only the bottom contributors is as effective as recognizing all contributors. When viewing information about contributors is costly, there is no significant difference in contributions as compared to the case where all contributors are displayed by default. This effect holds even though the identities of contributors are viewed less than ten percent of the time.

Suggested Citation

  • Anya Savikhin & Roman Sheremeta, 2010. "Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 10-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:10-22
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernd Irlenbusch & Rainer Michael Rilke, 2013. "(Public) Good Examples - On the Role of Limited Feedback in Voluntary Contribution Games," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 04-04, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    2. Khadjavi, Menusch & Lange, Andreas & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "The Social Value of Transparency and Accountabilityː Experimental Evidence from Asymmetric Public Goods Games," WiSo-HH Working Paper Series 12, University of Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, WISO Research Laboratory.
    3. Bernd Irlenbusch & Rainer Michael Rilke & Gari Walkowitz, 2019. "Designing feedback in voluntary contribution games: the role of transparency," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(2), pages 552-576, June.
    4. Shakun D. Mago & Anya C. Savikhin & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Facing Your Opponents: Social identification and information feedback in contests," Working Papers 12-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Matthew W. McCarter & Anya C. Samak & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Divided Loyalties or Conditional Cooperation? An experimental study of contributions to multiple public goods," Working Papers 13-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    6. Karlan, Dean & McConnell, Margaret A., 2014. "Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 402-412.
    7. Khadjavi, Menusch & Lange, Andreas & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "The Social Value of Transparency and Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Asymmetric Public Good Games," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100512, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. James Andreoni & Laura K. Gee, 2011. "Gun For Hire: Does Delegated Enforcement Crowd out Peer Punishment in Giving to Public Goods?," NBER Working Papers 17033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lambarraa, Fatima & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "On the norms of charitable giving in Islam: A field experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 59, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    10. Andreoni, James & Gee, Laura K., 2012. "Gun for hire: Delegated enforcement and peer punishment in public goods provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1036-1046.
    11. Anat Bracha & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How low can you go? Charity reporting when donations signal income and generosity," Working Papers 13-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    12. Sonntag, Axel & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2019. "Personal accountability and cooperation in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 428-448.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public-goods; information; competition;
    All these keywords.

    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

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