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Distributional preferences and donation behavior among marine resource users in Wakatobi, Indonesia

Nelson, Katherine M., Schlüter, Achim, Vance, Colin
Ocean & coastal management 2018 v.162 pp. 34-45
field experimentation, marine resources, Indonesia
This study examines the effect of distributional preferences on donations of money and time using a field experiment with marine resource users in Indonesia. Individuals participate in a real effort task to earn money and are faced with a donation decision under different treatments – monetary donation, time donation, monetary match, and time match. In the distributional preferences elicitation task we classify individuals' preferences as benevolent, egalitarian, own-money-maximizing, and malevolent. We find that the different distributional preference types are a significant indicator of participants' donation behavior. The people showing malevolent preferences and those who focus only on maximizing their own payoff are less likely to donate any amount compared to those that make egalitarian choices. Furthermore, we find strong evidence that individuals who choose payoff structures characterized as “benevolent” donate a significantly higher amount. We analyze the results econometrically in two stages to better understand the determining factors for whether an individual donates and those factors that determine how much one donates. Practical implications involve developing targeted messages that integrate the resource-users and their needs into the center of local conservation campaigns and goals.