IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/dicedp/82.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Voluntary payments, privacy and social pressure on the internet: A natural field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Regner, Tobias
  • Riener, Gerhard

Abstract

The emergence of Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) business models as a successful alternative to conventional uniform pricing brings up new questions related to the task of pricing. We investigate the effect of a reduction of privacy on consumers' purchase decisions (whether to buy, and if so how much to pay) in a natural experiment at an online music store with PWYW-like pricing. Our study extends the empirical evidence of the reduced anonymity effect, previously established for donation or public goods contexts, to a consumption environment. We find that revealing the name of the customer led to slightly higher payments, while it drastically reduced the number of customers purchasing. Overall, the regime led to a revenue loss of 15%. The experiment suggests that even low levels of social pressure without face to face interaction on customers leads to a reduction of welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Regner, Tobias & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "Voluntary payments, privacy and social pressure on the internet: A natural field experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 82, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:82
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/68231/1/734357842.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2009. "Piracy prevention and the pricing of information goods," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 34-42, February.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    3. 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, pages 1047-1060.
    4. 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.
    5. Beresford, Alastair R. & Kübler, Dorothea & Preibusch, Sören, 2012. "Unwillingness to pay for privacy: A field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 25-27.
    6. Regner, Tobias & Barria, Javier A., 2009. "Do consumers pay voluntarily? The case of online music," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 395-406, August.
    7. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1605-1623.
    8. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1605-1623.
    9. James Andreoni & Justin M. Rao & Hannah Trachtman, 2011. "Avoiding The Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 17648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    11. Domon, Koji & Yamazaki, Naoto, 2004. "Unauthorized file-sharing and the pricing of digital content," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 179-184, November.
    12. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 653-660.
    13. George J. Stigler, 1980. "An Introduction to Privacy in Economics and Politics," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 10, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    14. Riener, Gerhard & Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Norms, moods, and free lunch: Longitudinal evidence on payments from a Pay-What-You-Want restaurant," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 476-483.
    15. Regner, Tobias, 2015. "Why consumers pay voluntarily: Evidence from online music," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 205-214.
    16. Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Copying and Copyright," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 121-138, Spring.
    17. 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, pages 1047-1060.
    18. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Vincent Conitzer & Curtis R. Taylor & Liad Wagman, 2012. "Hide and Seek: Costly Consumer Privacy in a Market with Repeat Purchases," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 277-292, March.
    20. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Greiff, Matthias & Egbert, Henrik, 2016. "A Survey of the Empirical Evidence on PWYW Pricing," MPRA Paper 68693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gerpott, Torsten J. & Schneider, Christina, 2016. "Buying behaviors when similar products are available under pay-what-you-want and posted price conditions: Field-experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 135-145.
    3. Egbert, Henrik, 2017. "The Gift and Pay-What-You-Want Pricing," MPRA Paper 82066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Krämer, Florentin & Schmidt, Klaus M. & Spann, Martin & Stich, Lucas, 2017. "Delegating pricing power to customers: Pay What You Want or Name Your Own Price?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 125-140.
    5. Greiff, Matthias & Egbert, Henrik, 2016. "The Pay-What-You-Want Game and Laboratory Experiments," MPRA Paper 75222, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Armstrong Soule, Catherine A. & Madrigal, Robert, 2015. "Anchors and norms in anonymous pay-what-you-want pricing contexts," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 167-175.
    7. Samahita, Margaret, 2015. "Pay-What-You-Want in Competition," Working Papers 2015:27, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Egbert, Henrik & Greiff, Matthias & Xhangolli, Kreshnik, 2014. "PWYW Pricing ex post Consumption: A Sales Strategy for Experience Goods," MPRA Paper 53376, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Anna Kukla-Gryz & Katarzyna Zagórska, 2017. "The strength of the anchoring effect on Pay What You Want payments: Evidence from a vignette experiment," Working Papers 2017-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Digital content; Voluntary Payments; PWYW; Public goods; Voluntary contributions; Social pressure; Internet; Privacy; Natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D49 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Other
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:82. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/diduede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.