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Voluntary Contributions to Hiking Trail Maintenance: Evidence From a Field Experiment in a National Park, Japan

Takahiro Kubo (), Yasushi Shoji, Takahiro Tsuge and Koichi Kuriyama

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 144, issue C, 124-128

Abstract: Donation is one of the most important solutions to inadequate funding for protected area management; however, there has been little agreement on the measures to be used to encourage visitors to donate. We conducted a field experiment in Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan, to examine the effect on donation behavior of providing information about two types of initial contributions. The first type of contribution is toward the fundraising campaign for trail maintenance and the initial amount of government funding (i.e., seed money) and information is provided about the target amount. The second type is for trail maintenance and information is provided on the value of one day's contribution by other participants. We found that announcing the seed money amount and the target significantly increased the probability of a positive contribution and raised the average contribution, compared with the control treatment of no additional announcements. When the participants knew others' contribution beforehand, the likelihood of a positive contribution increased; however, the average contribution tended to decrease. In conclusion, announcing the seed money and the fundraising target is superior to the other measures studied in this paper to raise funds in this specific context of protected area management.

Keywords: Donation; Field experiment; Information provision; National park; Park management; Voluntary contribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 H41 Q28 Q50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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