How to Start a Grassroots Movement
David Ehrlich and Nora Szech
- Date: September 2022
We study the influence of social messages that promote a digital public good, a COVID-19 tracing app. We vary whether subjects receive a digital message from another subject, and, if so, at what cost it came. Observed maximum willingness to invest in sending varies, from 1 cent up to 20 euros. Does this affect receivers’ sending behavior? Willingness to invest in sending increases when previously receiving the message. Yet, cost signals have no impact. Thus, grassroots movements can be started at virtually no cost. App-support matters normatively as non-supporters are supposed to be punished in triage.