Experimental Economics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 673–690 | Cite as

Recognizing contributors: an experiment on public goods

Original Paper


We experimentally investigate the impact of recognizing contributors on public good contributions. We vary recognizing all, highest or lowest contributors. Consistent with previous studies, recognizing all contributors significantly increases contributions relative to the baseline. Recognizing only the highest contributors does not increase contributions compared to not recognizing contributors, while recognizing only the lowest contributors is as effective as recognizing all contributors. These findings support our conjecture that aversion from shame is a more powerful motivator for giving than anticipation of prestige.


Public-goods Information Experiments 

JEL Classification

C72 C91 H41 

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Weatherhead School of ManagementCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Economic Science InstituteChapman UniversityOrangeUSA

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