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Public Goods, Social Norms, and Naïve Beliefs

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  • EDWARD CARTWRIGHT
  • AMRISH PATEL

Abstract

An individual's contribution to a public good may be seen by others as a signal of attributes such as generosity or wealth. An individual may, therefore, choose their contribution so as to send an appropriate signal to others. In this paper, we question how the inferences made by others will influence the amount contributed to the public good. Evidence suggests that individuals are naïve and biased toward taking things at "face value." We contrast, therefore, contributions made to a public good if others are expected to make rational inferences versus contributions if others are expected to make naïve inferences. Copyright � 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2009.01457.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 199-223

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:2:p:199-223

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2009. "Does category reporting increase donations to charity? A signalling game approach," Studies in Economics 0924, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Patel, Amrish & Cartwright, Edward, 2011. "Naïve Beliefs and the Multiplicity of Social Norms," Working Papers in Economics 488, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Cartwright, Edward & Patel, Amrish, 2012. "How Category Reporting Can Improve Fundraising," Working Papers in Economics 522, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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