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Paying the Price of Sweetening Your Donation - Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

  • Alpízar, Francisco

    ()

    (Environment for Development Center for Central America, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

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

Using a natural field experiment in a recreational site, a public good almost fully dependent on voluntary donations, we explored the crowding-out effect of gift rewards. First, we investigated whether receiving a map in appreciation of a donation crowded out prosocial behavior and found no significant effect of giving the map. Second, we explored the effect of adding the map to a treatment designed to increase donations. Interestingly, when the gift was combined with our attempt to trigger reputational and self image motives, the probability of donating decreased significantly, compared to the social reference treatment alone.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 460.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 05 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Alpízar, Francisco and Peter Martinsson, 'Paying the Price of Sweetening Your Donation - Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment' in Economics Letters, 2012, pages 182-185.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0460
Note: Published in Economics Letters, 2012, Vol 114, pp. 182-185.
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. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-55, March.
  2. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, . "A Theory of Reciprocity," IEW - Working Papers 006, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica," Discussion Papers dp-08-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
  4. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521882651 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  7. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Armin Falk, 2007. "Gift Exchange in the Field," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1501-1511, 09.
  9. Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
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