Pay-What-You-Want to Support Independent Information: A Field Experiment on Motivation

42 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2018

See all articles by Alessandra Casarico

Alessandra Casarico

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Mirco Tonin

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano; IZA; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Abstract

Pay-what-you-want schemes can be a useful tool to finance high quality and independent news media without restricting readership, therefore guaranteeing maximum diffusion. We conduct a field experiment with the Italian information site lavoce.info to explore how to structure a campaign in a way that maximises readers' willingness to contribute. We compare messages stressing two possible motivations to contribute, namely the public good component of the news or the importance of the individual contributions. We also test the effect of including information about the tax allowance associated with donations. While the particular motivation stressed does not have a significant impact, information about tax allowances surprisingly reduces overall donations, due to a reduction in the number of (small) donors. Stable unsubscriptions from the newsletter suggest that the campaign does not have an adverse effect on readers.

Keywords: field experiment, pay-what-you-want, tax allowances, media

JEL Classification: C93, D64, H41

Suggested Citation

Casarico, Alessandra and Tonin, Mirco, Pay-What-You-Want to Support Independent Information: A Field Experiment on Motivation. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11366. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3137497

Alessandra Casarico (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Mirco Tonin

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano ( email )

Sernesiplatz 1
Bozen-Bolzano, BZ 39100
Italy

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=3339

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
8
Abstract Views
59
PlumX Metrics