Signaling Virtue: Charitable Behavior Under Consumer Elective Pricing

63 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2014  

Minah H. Jung

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Ayelet Gneezy

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

Uri Gneezy

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

Date Written: June 9, 2014

Abstract

Four field experiments examined the quantitative and qualitative forces influencing behaviors under consumer elective pricing called “shared social responsibility” (SSR, Gneezy, Gneezy, Nelson, & Brown, 2010). Under SSR consumers can pay what they want and a percentage of their payment goes to support a charitable cause. Customers in our experiments were sensitive to the presence of charitable giving, paying more when a portion of their payment went to charity (Studies 1-4), but were largely insensitive to what portion of their payment went to charity (Studies 1 and 2). To test possible explanations we examined how consumers’ qualitative concerns to signal a positive image influenced their decisions and found that neither self-selection into paying (Studies 3 and 4) nor social pressure (Study 4) explained higher payments under SSR.

Keywords: charitable giving, consumer elective pricing, pay-what-you-want, scope-sensitivity

Suggested Citation

Jung, Minah H. and Nelson, Leif D. and Gneezy, Ayelet and Gneezy, Uri, Signaling Virtue: Charitable Behavior Under Consumer Elective Pricing (June 9, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2447960 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2447960

Minah H. Jung (Contact Author)

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

545 Student Service Building #1900
Berkeley, CA 94720-1900
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

Ayelet 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

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

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