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Fundraising through Competition: Evidence from the Lab

  • Henrik Orzen


    (University of Nottingham)

This paper investigates fundraising mechanisms for the private provision of a public good which utilize competition as an incentive device for contributions. Theory predicts that “all-pay” competition is particularly effective for fundraising. Within this class of mechanisms different types of lotteries and all-pay auctions are analyzed and ranked. Three all-pay competition mechanisms are then examined in a laboratory experiment vis-à-vis a voluntary contribution mechanism (VCM). All three outperform the VCM and fully efficient outcomes are attained in the last-price all-pay auction after some learning has taken place.

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Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005-04.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2005-04
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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  1. Luca Corazzini & Marco Faravelli & Luca Stanca, 2007. "A Prize to Give for: An Experiment on Public Good Funding Mechanisms," Working Papers 108, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
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  3. Alston, Richard M. & Nowell, Clifford, 1996. "Implementing the voluntary contribution game: A field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 357-368, December.
  4. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
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  6. Glenn W. Harrison & Jack Hirshleifer, 1988. "An Experimental Evaluation of Weakest-Link/Best Shot Models of Public Goods," UCLA Economics Working Papers 473, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  9. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when r>2: Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1039, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  10. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  11. Arthur J.H.C. Schram & Sander Onderstal, 2009. "Bidding To Give: An Experimental Comparison Of Auctions For Charity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 431-457, 05.
  12. John Morgan & Martin Sefton, 2000. "Funding Public Goods with Lotteries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 785-810.
  13. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D., 1993. "The Solution of the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when R > 2 : Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Discussion Paper 1993-68, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Marco Faravelli, 2007. "The Important Thing is not (Always) Winning but Taking Part: Funding Public Goods with Contests," ESE Discussion Papers 156, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  15. Jeffrey Carpenter & Jessica Holmes & PeterHans Matthews, 2008. "Charity auctions: a field experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 92-113, 01.
  16. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
  17. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601.
  18. Jacob K. Goeree & Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal & John L. Turner, 2005. "How (Not) to Raise Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 897-926, August.
  19. Rondeau, Daniel & Poe, Gregory L. & Schulze, William D., 2005. "VCM or PPM? A comparison of the performance of two voluntary public goods mechanisms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1581-1592, August.
  20. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
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