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Are They Watching You and Does It Matter? - Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

  • Alpízar, Francisco

    ()

    (Environment for Development Program, CATIE)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

In a natural field experiment, we tested whether being alone or in a group had an effect on prosocial behavior as expressed in donations to a recreational park. We also explored whether the presence of people exogenous to the group at the time of the donation had any behavioral effect. Our first treatment aimed at identifying peer effects, whereas our second treatment was similar to being in the public eye. We found that being in a group significantly increases the share of people acting prosocially. Moreover, we found that only individuals who are part of a group are positively affected by the presence of a third party.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 456.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Alpízar, Francisco and Peter Martinsson, 'Are They Watching You and Does It Matter? - Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment' in Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2013, pages 74-83.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0456
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. John A. List & Robert P. Berrens & Alok K. Bohara & Joe Kerkvliet, 2004. "Examining the Role of Social Isolation on Stated Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 741-752, June.
  2. Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," IZA Discussion Papers 2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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..
  4. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
  5. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
  6. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity: Evidence from voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1047-1060, June.
  7. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2007. "Public Observability of Decisions and Voluntary Contributions in a Multiperiod Context," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(2), pages 176-198, March.
  8. Blackman, Allen & Bannister, Geoffrey J., 1998. "Community Pressure and Clean Technology in the Informal Sector: An Econometric Analysis of the Adoption of Propane by Traditional Mexican Brickmakers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-21, January.
  9. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
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