Shared Social Responsibility: A Field Experiment in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Charitable Giving

Science, Vol. 329, pp. 325-327, 2010

Posted: 4 Mar 2012

See all articles by Ayelet Gneezy

Ayelet Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Uri Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Amber Brown

Disney Imaginations - Boston

Date Written: July 15, 2010

Abstract

A field experiment (N=113,047 participants) manipulated two factors in the sale of souvenir photos. First, some customers saw a traditional fixed price, whereas others could pay what they wanted (including $0). Second, approximately half of the customers saw a variation in which half of the revenue went to charity. At a standard fixed price, the charitable component only slightly increased demand, as similar studies have also found. However, when participants could pay what they wanted, the same charitable component created a treatment that was substantially more profitable. Switching from corporate social responsibility to what we term shared social responsibility works in part because customized contributions allow customers to directly express social welfare concerns through the purchasing of material goods.

Keywords: Pay-What-You-Want, Charitable Giving

Suggested Citation

Gneezy, Ayelet and Gneezy, Uri and Nelson, Leif D. and Brown, Amber, Shared Social Responsibility: A Field Experiment in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Charitable Giving (July 15, 2010). Science, Vol. 329, pp. 325-327, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2015106

Ayelet Gneezy (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Uri Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Amber Brown

Disney Imaginations - Boston ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

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