Three main lessons on PWYW for cultural goods. Our studies covered in Economists Talk Art
With the end of the year, we wrapped up our first PWYW experiment in theatres. Check out the results and stay tuned for similar upcoming experiments!
Przeprowadziliśmy dotychczas trzy eksperymenty. Pierwsze dwa zostały przeprowadzone wśród klientów księgarni internetowych dystrybuujących ebooki i audiobooki – Virtualo i...
Ruszyliśmy z nowym projektem, skupiającym się na badaniu wpływu doświadczanego charakteru dóbr kultury na różnicę w skłonności do zapłaty za te dobra przed i po ich konsumpcji.
Opublikowane | Published
‘If I can set my own price for tonight’s show I will pay more after watching it!’ – evidence from Pay What You Want experiment (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
In a field experiment conducted in cooperation with city theatres in Warsaw, we allowed some of the visitors to pay whatever they wanted for the tickets. Half of these visitors were asked randomly to make a voluntary payment after (instead of before) the performance. We found a significant positive difference between payments made after and before the show. In a specially designed survey we capture factors that may potentially explain this difference: the visitors’ general expectations towards the performance and different aspects of the audience experience.
Do pirates play fair? Ethical judgment of unauthorized sports broadcasts (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
Ethical norms on the Internet are believed to be more permissive than in the ‘real’ world and this belief often serves as an explanation for the prevalence of the so-called digital “piracy”. In this study we provide evidence from a vignette experiment that contradicts this claim. Analyzing the case of sports broadcast, we compare explicitly the ethical judgment of legal and illegal sharing in the offline and online context. We find that the norms concerning legality, availability of alternatives and deriving material benefits from sharing content do not differ substantially between the virtual and real worlds. We also test explicitly for the role of legal awareness and find that emphasizing what is prohibited (copyright infringement) is less effective than focusing on what is permitted (fair use) in reducing the disparity between legal and ethical norms.
We all do it, but are we willing to admit? Incentivizing digital pirates’ confessions (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
In this study, we try to assess the prevalence of illicit downloading in the market of audio books and the willingness to admit to such practices. We compare the Bayesian Truth Serum (Prelec, 2004) treatment in which truthful responses and precise estimates are rewarded to the control treatment with a flat participation fee. We find a sizable treatment effect – incentivized ‘pirates’ admit approximately 60% more often than the nonincentivized ones.
„Piracy is not theft!” Is it just students who think so? (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
A fair share of studies analyzing “online piracy” are based on easily accessible student samples. However, it has been argued that the youths tend to have more lax social and ethical norms concerning both property rights and online behavior. In this study we present the results of a vignette experiment, i.e. a scenario survey where responders are asked to provide an ethical judgment on different forms of unauthorized acquisition of a full season of a popular TV series described in a number of hypothetical stories. The survey is conducted both on a student sample and on a sample of individuals who openly endorse protection of intellectual property rights for cultural goods. In this way we can investigate the possibly limited external validity of studies relying solely on the student samples. The vignette experiment concerned ethical evaluation of unauthorized acquisition of cultural content in both virtual and real context and was focused on six dimensions previously identified as relevant to the ethical judgment. Surprisingly, we found that the rules for the ethical judgment do not differ between our samples, suggesting that the social norms on “online piracy” follow similar patterns in student and in other populations. Findings from studies relying on ethical or moral judgments of students may thus be valid in a much broader population.
W toku | Work in progress
Do cultural differences affect voluntary payment decisions? Evidence from guided tours (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
We provide an empirical explanation for cross-country differences in the size of the voluntary payments made for a good offered in a Pay-What-You-Want payment scheme. Using a sample of almost 500 international travellers from 50 nations participating in a guided tour that uses a voluntary payment method, we analyse the relationship between the size of the average voluntary payments and national values defined by Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions (1983) as well as selected values from the World Value Survey (WVS). Strong correlations between certain cultural values and average payment sizes are found.
The strength of the anchoring effect on Pay What You Want payments: Evidence from a vignette experiment (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
The goal of this paper is to empirically investigate, on the example of eBooks, the effects of the expected quality, external and internal reference prices, risk-taking propensity and perceived costs of production on the size of the voluntary payments in pay-what-you-want (PWYW) scheme. Using the results of a vignette experiment, we show that independently from the expected quality of the eBook, when individual internal reference price is higher than external reference price, voluntary payments are significantly higher if external reference price is not provided. When the external reference price is not provided then PWYW payments depend positively on consumers’ individual internal reference price, and the perceived percentage of the price believed to cover the author’s compensation and the publication costs. The originality of the research comes from separating the anchoring effect of external reference prices from the quality signal effect.
Digital piracy and the perception of price fairness (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
We focus on the relationship between pricing of cultural goods and willingness to download their unauthorized versions. Building on equity theory we propose that perceiving a price as overly high provides a self-justification for downloading content from unauthorized sources. In a large-scale online experiment on customers of a major e-book store we employ the Bayesian Truth Serum to induce truthful confessions of acquiring content from unauthorized sources. We confirm that self-reported downloading from unauthorized sources is associated with having experienced overpricing. We also relate it to endorsing relatively positive views on the role of file-sharing services and believing that ”pirate’s” motives are relatively principled, while those of abstainers are rather pragmatic.
Pushed by the crowd or pulled by the leaders? Peer effects in Pay-What-You-Want (Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract)
Literature on charitable giving often finds that seed money matters: the example of a wealthy donor is followed by others (List and Lucking-Riley, 2002). Nearly all relevant theoretical accounts (e.g. that leaders possess superior information on quality of the project) seem to apply to the closely related environment of Pay-What-You-Want mechanisms as well. Yet, as far as we can tell, no empirical study has tested for that until now. To fill this gap, we analyze data from 16 campaigns of BookRage (an equivalent of Humble Bundle, offering bundles of e-books). We make use of the fact that a fixed number of currently highest contributions are always displayed (along with mean contribution and total amount raised). Thus a discontinuity may be expected: contributions that are displayed might directly affect subsequent donors’ behavior, in contrast to just slightly lower donations that are only observable as a (small) change in mean contribution. We find that the example of leaders makes no impact on willingness to purchase and amount paid. By contrast, the mean of past contributions has a positive impact on current contribution, yet a negative impact on the probability of contributing.