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Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults Can Affect Cooperation.

Fosgaard TR, Piovesan M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good.Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default.Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

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Average public good contribution over periods in the two treatments.
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pone.0145488.g003: Average public good contribution over periods in the two treatments.

Mentions: Fig 3 shows the result of the repeated public goods game in the treatments. Over time, the contributions decay, as is typically observed in such games, but interestingly, the average contributions in the PCC treatment are consistently above the contributions in the FR treatment. When evaluating the individual average contributions over all periods across PCC and FR, we find that there is a highly significant difference across these two treatments (Non-parametric Mann Whitney test, z = -2.791, p = 0.005). Note also that the effect does not seem to decline over the repetitions of the game: the difference in mean contribution in the first half (period 1–5) of the repeated public goods game is 1.72, whereas it is 2.14 in the last half of the game (period 6–10). Interestingly, the contributions in the ND treatment are between PCC and FR, suggesting that PCC tend to pull up contributions whereas FR is having the opposite effect.


Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults Can Affect Cooperation.

Fosgaard TR, Piovesan M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Average public good contribution over periods in the two treatments.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696855&req=5

pone.0145488.g003: Average public good contribution over periods in the two treatments.
Mentions: Fig 3 shows the result of the repeated public goods game in the treatments. Over time, the contributions decay, as is typically observed in such games, but interestingly, the average contributions in the PCC treatment are consistently above the contributions in the FR treatment. When evaluating the individual average contributions over all periods across PCC and FR, we find that there is a highly significant difference across these two treatments (Non-parametric Mann Whitney test, z = -2.791, p = 0.005). Note also that the effect does not seem to decline over the repetitions of the game: the difference in mean contribution in the first half (period 1–5) of the repeated public goods game is 1.72, whereas it is 2.14 in the last half of the game (period 6–10). Interestingly, the contributions in the ND treatment are between PCC and FR, suggesting that PCC tend to pull up contributions whereas FR is having the opposite effect.

Bottom Line: In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good.Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default.Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

Show MeSH