2020 年 35 巻 1 号 p. 77-95
This study addresses the potential of crowdfunding of scientific research as a complementary source of funding to competitive government-funded research grants. Although a growing number of academic researchers expect scientific crowdfunding to support academic research that is not funded through traditional grants, few studies have investigated the motives of crowdfunding contributors. This study develops hypotheses regarding the relationship between crowdfunding and its returns or emotional motivations. The hypotheses are tested using an internet survey of 3,443 Japanese citizens regarding their willingness to contribute to academic research. We controlled two biases, disinterest and acquiescence, in the responses by applying a randomized experiment method. Our results identify two influential determinants of both an interest in donating and the willingness to contribute, namely, research that increases empathy and research that contributes to global knowledge. We also find that returns from crowdfunding, such as increasing national scientific competitiveness, do not always drive donation behavior. The results confirm the usefulness of crowdfunding in supporting various types of academic research.