Do Norms on Contribution Behavior Affect Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany

35 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2016

See all articles by Pierre Boyer

Pierre Boyer

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Nadja Dwenger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Johannes Rincke

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: July 21, 2016

Abstract

This paper studies how imposing norms on contribution behavior affects individuals’ intrinsic motivation. We consider the church levy, which the Catholic Church in Germany collects as a charitable donation, despite the fact that the levy is legally a tax. We design a randomized field experiment with treatments informing individuals that the levy is a tax. We demonstrate that treatment effects differ across motivational types. Among weakly intrinsically motivated individuals, communicating the legal norm results in a significant crowd-out of intrinsic motivation. In contrast, strongly intrinsically motivated individuals do not show any treatment response.

Keywords: intrinsic motivation, crowding out, charitable giving, norms, taxes, public goods, randomized field experiment

JEL Classification: C930, D030, H260, H410

Suggested Citation

Boyer, Pierre C. and Dwenger, Nadja and Rincke, Johannes, Do Norms on Contribution Behavior Affect Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany (July 21, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5998, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2821490

Pierre C. Boyer (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91120
France

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Nadja Dwenger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

10117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/public_economics/public_economics_people/dwenger_nadja.cfm

Johannes Rincke

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Seminar for Economic Policy
Akademiestr. 1/II
Munich, D-80799
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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