Avoid Peer Information: Evidence from a Field Experiment of Charity Crowdfunding

43 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2021 Last revised: 14 Apr 2021

See all articles by Tat Chan

Tat Chan

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Li Liao

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance

Xiumin Martin

Washington University in Saint Louis - Olin School of Business

Zhengwei Wang

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance

Date Written: April 10, 2021

Abstract

We study the behavior whereby an individual avoids peer information on charity giving. Manipulating the conditions of whether the peer donation information was revealed to potential donors based on a field experiment, we show information avoidance is ubiquitous, as 89% of individuals were “information avoiders.” Given the option to avoid the information, they were less likely to give and to help promote charity campaigns, which reduced the total distribution of campaigns on the platform by 8.4% and the total donation amount by 7.4%. We use a theoretical model to illustrate how the pressure from peer comparison may drive the findings.

Keywords: information avoidance, charity giving, crowdfunding, peer comparison, behavioral economics, field experiment

JEL Classification: C93, D82, D83, H41

Suggested Citation

Chan, Tat and Liao, Li and Martin, Xiumin and Wang, Zhengwei, Avoid Peer Information: Evidence from a Field Experiment of Charity Crowdfunding (April 10, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3823764 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3823764

Tat Chan

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Li Liao

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance ( email )

No. 43, Chengdu Road
Haidian District
Beijing 100083
China

Xiumin Martin

Washington University in Saint Louis - Olin School of Business ( email )

Saint Louis, MO 63130
United States

Zhengwei Wang (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance ( email )

No. 43, Chengfu Road
Haidian District
Beijing 100083
China

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