Funding a new bridge in rural Vietnam:
a field experiment on social influence and default contributions
Oxford Economic Papers
Fredrik Carlsson, Olof Johansson-Stenman and Pham Khanh Nam
- Fredrik Carlsson, Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Olof Johansson-Stenman, Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg; email: email@example.com
- Pham Khanh Nam, School of Economics, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public goods provision is essential for economic development. Yet there is limited evidence regarding contributions to local public goods in developing countries. This article analyses a field experiment where all 200 households in a village in rural Vietnam make real contributions to a public good that is very important for them in daily life—a bridge. We study the role of social influence (that people may be more willing to co-operate if others do) and the effects of the default alternative in the choice situation. We find significant and substantial (in the order of magnitude of 15–25%) effects of both social influence and defaults but only when providing low reference or default contributions.