Point at, Nudge, or Push Private Provisions to a Public Good? Field Experimental Evidence for Experts, Politicians, and Nobodies
46 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018 Last revised: 11 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 10, 2019
This paper investigates differences between a default, a recommendation, and a mandatory minimum contribution on private provision of a large scale public good. Their interaction with regulator identity and intrinsic motivation on voluntary contributions is the primary focus. Data are from an online framed field experiment with a sample representative of the German internet using population. There is no evidence that either recommendation or default close to the pre-intervention average change contributions. While data suggests the recommendation might just not be strong enough, the negative interaction of the default with high intrinsic motivation explains the neutral aggregate default effect. However, we do not find such a crowding-out effect for the mandatory minimum contribution. Regulator attributes do not alter intervention effects. The study improves our understanding of behavioral public policy instruments in highlighting the role of the psychology of decision-makers, by comparing defaults to alternative interventions, and by shedding light on the role of policymaker identity.
Keywords: climate protection, experiment, default, nudge, public good, motivation crowding
JEL Classification: D03, H41, Q54, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation