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Donation-Based Crowdfunding with Refund Bonuses

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  • Timothy N. Cason
  • Robertas Zubrickas

Abstract

We study donation-based crowdfunding for threshold public good provision. Our main focus is on an extension with refund bonuses aimed at resolving the problems of equilibrium coordination and free riding. In the case of insufficient contributions, contributors not only have their contributions refunded but they also receive refund bonuses proportional to their pledged contributions. Thus, refund bonuses encourage more contributions but ultimately enough is raised given sufficient preference for the public good and in equilibrium no bonuses need to be paid. We test the predicted effects of refund bonuses in an experiment using a laboratory-based crowdfunding platform that features many main aspects of real-life platforms. Our main empirical result is that refund bonuses substantially increase the rate of funding success when contributors can support multiple projects. Furthermore, our findings also demonstrate that refund bonuses lead to significant economic gains even after accounting for their costs.
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  • Timothy N. Cason & Robertas Zubrickas, 2019. "Donation-Based Crowdfunding with Refund Bonuses," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1319, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1319
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    Cited by:

    1. Cason, Timothy N. & Tabarrok, Alex & Zubrickas, Robertas, 2021. "Early refund bonuses increase successful crowdfunding," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 78-95.
    2. Chan, Nathan W. & Wolk, Leonard, 2020. "Cost-effective giving with multiple public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 130-145.
    3. Chandrayee Chatterjee & James C. Cox & Michael K. Price & Florian Rundhammer, 2020. "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Understanding How State Tax Credits Impact Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 27163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Boudreau, Kevin J. & Jeppesen, Lars Bo & Reichstein, Toke & Rullani, Francesco, 2021. "Crowdfunding as Donations to Entrepreneurial Firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    5. Korzynski, Pawel & Haenlein, Michael & Rautiainen, Mika, 2021. "Impression management techniques in crowdfunding: An analysis of Kickstarter videos using artificial intelligence," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 675-684.
    6. Robertas Zubrickas, 2020. "Contingent wage subsidy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(4), pages 1105-1119, August.
    7. Diya Elizabeth Abraham & Luca Corazzini & Miloš Fišar & Tommaso Reggiani, 2021. "Delegation and Overhead Aversion with Multiple Threshold Public Goods," MUNI ECON Working Papers 2021-14, Masaryk University.
    8. Anton Miglo, 2022. "Theories of Crowdfunding and Token Issues: A Review," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 15(5), pages 1-28, May.
    9. Zhi Li & Pengfei Liu & Stephen K. Swallow, 2021. "Assurance Contracts to Support Multi-Unit Threshold Public Goods in Environmental Markets," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 80(2), pages 339-378, October.
    10. Luca Corazzini & Christopher Cotton & Enrico Longo & Tommaso Reggiani, 2021. "The Gates Effect in Public Goods Experiments: How Donors Focus on the Recipients Favored by the Wealthy," Working Paper 1471, Economics Department, Queen's University.

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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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