Crowdfunding Public Goods: An Experiment
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2017-119/VIII
44 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 14, 2017
We assess the impact of different crowdfunding designs on the success of crowdfunded public goods using a lab-in-the-field experiment. Our design treatments aim to increase the efficiency of crowdfunding campaigns by raising aggregate contributions and decreasing possible coordination problems that may occur when potential donors are faced with a multitude of projects seeking contributions. Amongst others, we explore the potential of seed money and the impact of the attraction effect. Using a four-day time window we implement our crowdfunding experiment using a web-based user interface with multiple threshold public goods, similar in style to conventional crowdfunding websites. We find that such alternative crowdfunding designs affect efficiency via improving coordination, and not so much via affecting total contributions. These results are confirmed in a follow-up framed field experiment with actual nature conservation projects.
Keywords: crowdfunding, lab-in-the-field experiment, threshold public goods, charitable giving, nature conservation
JEL Classification: C93, H41, L31, Q57
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