Voluntarism and the Environment (in Recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day)
Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM (PDT)
- Chair: Mark Wihelm, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Every Day is Earth Day: Studying the Long Term Effects of April 22, 1970
AbstractThis paper studies one of the largest voluntary events in human history: the original Earth Day. Contrary to prior studies, this paper finds large and long term local effects of earth day. We use weather on earth day as an exogenous source of variation. We propose a simple sufficient statistic for bounding the social benefits of a voluntary activity such as earth day which is subject to a continuously varying treatment, such as weather.
Local and Global Public Goods Games
AbstractFighting climate change is a global public good that requires cooperation of individuals from different countries. Experiments show that cooperative behavior in social dilemma situations differs across countries. There is, however, little evidence on social dilemma situations in which individuals from different countries interact. To complement these findings, we conduct an experiment with participants from four countries crucial for the provision of global public goods: China, Germany, India and the US. Based on a standard public goods game our design varies across two dimensions. First, whether individuals participate in local group at the intra-national level, i.e., when other come from the same country, or in global groups at the inter-national level, i.e., when others come from different countries. Second, whether individuals have the chance to pledge their own non-binding contributions to the public good. Our results show substantial differences in participants’ cooperation behavior across countries. Furthermore, results from intranational comparisons cannot be simply extrapolated to international concerns. We also report that participants significantly deviate from their pledged contribution levels.
Prosocial Promises in the Marketplace
AbstractSuppliers in the marketplace increasingly link their products and services with contributions to public goods or charities: firms may gives a percentage of their sales proceeds to charity; green energy tariffs combine the purchase of electricity with the provider's pledge to support the build renewable capacity; producers may comply with the standards of fair trade or organic farming. At the same time, charitable organizations seem to seize their opportunity to increase their funds and promote the bundling initiatives by companies. It is largely an open question how such activities affect the total voluntary provision of public goods as they may also crowd out otherwise occurring voluntary donations to the respective causes. In this paper, we report experimental findings that contribute to a better understanding of motivations for bundling private and public goods. Our experimental design builds on variants of ultimatum games that abstractly represent the market process of firm's making take-it-or-leave-it offers to potential consumers. By varying the enforceability of the donation pledge, the competitive pressure, as well as the options for additional voluntary donations, we find that responders, i.e. buyers, seem not to cater to their warm-glow sensation when accepting a prosocial offer, even though they are interested in the cause. We find substantial deviations from the initial donation pledges by proposers, indicating that (a subset of) proposers uses the bundle as a strategic device to generate acceptance. We formulate conclusions for the desirability on information provision to make bundling activities more credible.
- H4 - Publicly Provided Goods
- Q5 - Environmental Economics