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An experimental study of corporate social responsibility through charitable giving in Bertrand markets

  • Feicht, Robert
  • Grimm, Veronika
  • Seebauer, Michael
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    We experimentally investigate a Bertrand market with homogenous goods where sellers may behave socially responsible by donating a share of their profits to an existing non-profit organization. In our experiment, we find that this Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) component is used independent of its credibility. However, market outcomes in terms of prices and profits do neither significantly differ with respect to the credibility of the CSR component nor in comparison to a market without the availability of CSR components. Moreover, prices have the main impact on purchase decisions while higher donations only affect purchase decisions when they are credible and price differences are negligible. We conclude that competition severely limits the possibility to attract customers with CSR components. Actual donations are small and the burden induced by the CSR components is shifted partly to the buyers resulting in equal profits in all treatments.

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    Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW) in its series IWQW Discussion Paper Series with number 03/2014.

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    Date of creation: 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:032014
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.iwqw.rw.uni-erlangen.de/

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    1. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
    2. Loureiro, Maria L. & Hine, Susan E., 2002. "Discovering Niche Markets: A Comparison Of Consumer Willingness To Pay For Local (Colorado Grown), Organic, And Gmo-Free Products," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(03), December.
    3. Loureiro, Maria L. & Lotade, Justus, 2005. "Do fair trade and eco-labels in coffee wake up the consumer conscience?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 129-138, April.
    4. Baron, David P., 2008. "Managerial contracting and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 268-288, February.
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