The Demand for Products Linked to Public Goods: Evidence from an Online Field Experiment

36 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2008

See all articles by Brian McManus

Brian McManus

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics

Richard Bennet

CCA Global Partners

Date Written: October 2008

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment at a nonprofit organization's online store to study how demand changes when consumers' purchases generate revenue for a charitable cause. Consumers respond strongly when their purchases generate small donations by an anonymous outside group, but responses are substantially weaker when the outside donations are relatively large. Responses are also strong when the outside donation requires a personal donation which consumers generally decline. Overall, increasing the salience of financial incentives appears to dampen consumers' responses to charitable messages. We also present evidence that the donation pledges reduce price sensitivity and have positive long-term effects on demand.

Keywords: Field Experiments, Charity-Linked Products, Corporate Social Responsibility, ECommerce

JEL Classification: C93, D64, L30, M14

Suggested Citation

McManus, Brian and Bennet, Richard, The Demand for Products Linked to Public Goods: Evidence from an Online Field Experiment (October 2008). NET Institute Working Paper No. 08-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1286277 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1286277

Brian McManus (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Richard Bennet

CCA Global Partners ( email )

United States

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