When Charities Compete: A Laboratory Experiment with Simultaneous Public Goods

32 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014 Last revised: 25 Feb 2015

See all articles by Justin Krieg

Justin Krieg

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP

Anya Samek

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR); University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 21, 2014

Abstract

What happens when charities compete? We begin to answer this question through a laboratory experiment in which subjects play two public goods games simultaneously. We systematically vary the incentives for contributing in one of the games – investigating the effects of recognition, a bonus conditional on contributing, and non-monetary sanctions – and measure the effect on contributions in both games. Monetary incentives in the form of conditional bonuses increase contributions, even when two games are played simultaneously. However, non-monetary incentives such as recognition and sanctions are less effective than in related literature on games played in isolation. Moreover, we find mixed evidence of the spillover effect of treatment on the un-treated games – bonuses increase contributions initially, recognition decreases contributions, and sanctions have no effect.

Keywords: public goods, laboratory experiment, behavioral spillover, recognition

JEL Classification: C72, C91

Suggested Citation

Krieg, Justin and Samek, Anya, When Charities Compete: A Laboratory Experiment with Simultaneous Public Goods (February 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2402464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2402464

Justin Krieg

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP ( email )

800 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402
United States

Anya Samek (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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