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To Give or Not to Give: The Price of Contributing and the Provision of Public Goods

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  • Johannes Diederich
  • Timo Goeschl

Abstract

We examine the relationship between the price of giving and the decision to contribute in a framed field experiment (n = 2,440). In a departure from previous research using match rates and rebates, we vary the price of contributing to the public good directly. Treatment groups differ between subjects by the amount of money subjects have to give up in order to provide one unit of the public good. In contrast to earlier results, the theoretical prediction of a clear negative relationship between price and the decision whether to contribute is borne out by the experimental evidence. We estimate the mean elasticity of the probability to contribute as -0.31. The direct price effect is robust across specifications including sociodemographic controls for the highly heterogenous, Internet-representative non-student sample of subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Diederich & Timo Goeschl, 2013. "To Give or Not to Give: The Price of Contributing and the Provision of Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 19332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19332
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    2. Grischa Perino, 2015. "Climate Campaigns, Cap and Trade, and Carbon Leakage: Why Trying to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Can Harm the Climate," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 469-495.
    3. Johannes Lohse & Timo Goeschl & Johannes H. Diederich, 2017. "Giving is a Question of Time: Response Times and Contributions to an Environmental Public Good," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(3), pages 455-477, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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