Giving is a Question of Time: Response Times and Contributions to a Real World Public Good

University of Heidelberg Department of Economics Discussion Paper Series No. 566

21 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014

See all articles by Johannes Lohse

Johannes Lohse

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

Timo Goeschl

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Johannes Diederich

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Date Written: June 11, 2014

Abstract

Recent experimental research has examined whether contributions to public goods can be traced back to intuitive or deliberative decision-making, using response times in public good games in order to identify the specific decision process at work. In light of conflicting results, this paper reports on an analysis of response time data from an online experiment in which over 3400 subjects from the general population decided whether to contribute to a real world public good. The between-subjects evidence confirms a strong positive link between contributing and deliberation and between free-riding and intuition. The average response time of contributors is 40 percent higher than that of free-riders. A within-subject analysis reveals that for a given individual, contributing significantly increases and free-riding significantly decreases the amount of deliberation required.

Keywords: Public Goods; Cooperation; Dual Process Theories; Response Times; Climate Change; Online Experiment

JEL Classification: C93; H41; D03

Suggested Citation

Lohse, Johannes and Goeschl, Timo and Diederich, Johannes, Giving is a Question of Time: Response Times and Contributions to a Real World Public Good (June 11, 2014). University of Heidelberg Department of Economics Discussion Paper Series No. 566. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2457905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2457905

Johannes Lohse (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

Timo Goeschl

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Bergheimer Str. 20
D-69115 Heidelberg
Germany

Johannes Diederich

Heidelberg University - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Bergheimer Str. 20
Heidelberg, D-69115
Germany

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