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Announcements of Support and Public Good Provision

Judd B. Kessler

American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 12, 3760-87

Abstract: Providing information about contributions to public goods is known to generate further contributions. However, it is often impossible to provide verifiable information on contributions. Through a large-scale field experiment and a series of laboratory experiments, I show that nonbinding announcements of support for a public good encourage others to contribute, even when actual contributions might not or cannot be made. Providing a way to easily announce support for a charity increases donations by $865 per workplace fundraising campaign (or 16 percent of average giving). I discuss implications for understanding prosocial behavior and for organizations aiming to increase contributions to public goods.

JEL-codes: C93 D64 D83 H41 L31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130711
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