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Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults can affect Cooperation

Author

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  • Toke Reinholt Fosgaard

    (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Marco Piovesan

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where there default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

Suggested Citation

  • Toke Reinholt Fosgaard & Marco Piovesan, 2015. "Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults can affect Cooperation," IFRO Working Paper 2015/11, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2015_11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lemken, Dominic, 2020. "When do defaults stick and when are they ethical? Taxonomy, sytematic review and design recommendations," DARE Discussion Papers 2005, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    2. Lenka Fiala & Charles N. Noussair, 2017. "Charitable Giving, Emotions, And The Default Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1792-1812, October.
    3. Lemken, Dominic, 2020. "When do defaults stick and when are they ethical? - taxonomy, systematic review and design recommendations," Key Food Choices and Climate Change Project 307568, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cooperation; Nudging;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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