The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions
In this paper we study the effect of downward social information in contribution decisions to fund public goods. We describe the results of a field experiment run in conjunction with the fundraising campaigns of a public radio station. Renewing members are presented with social information (information about another donor's contribution) which is either above or below their previous (last year's) contribution. We find that respondents change their contribution in the direction of the social information; increasing their contribution when the social information is above their previous contribution, and decreasing their contribution when the social information is below. We hypothesize about the psychological motivations that may cause the results and test these hypotheses by comparing the relative size of the upward and downward shifts. These results improve our understanding of cooperation in public good provision and suggest differential costs and benefits to fundraisers in providing social information.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000.
"The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign,"
Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers
0008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
- David Lucking-Reiley & John List, 2002. "The effects of seed money and refunds on charitable giving: Experimental evidence from a university capital campaign," Natural Field Experiments 00301, The Field Experiments Website.
- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
- Catherine Eckel, 2005.
"Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies,"
2098, The Field Experiments Website.
- Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2005. "Subsidizing charitable contributions: A field test comparing matching and rebate subsidies," Framed Field Experiments 00145, The Field Experiments Website.
- Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
- Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
- John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00322. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.