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Imitation and the Incentive to Contribute Early in a Sequential Public Good Game

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  • EDWARD CARTWRIGHT
  • AMRISH PATEL

Abstract

Whether motivated by reciprocity or conformity, imitation is common in public good contexts. We consider the incentive for an agent to contribute to a public good if he expects imitation from others. Using a sequential public good game with exogenous ordering, we show that agents early enough in the sequence who believe imitation to be sufficiently likely would want to contribute. By contributing, they expect total contributions to increase significantly. We also show that preferences determine how early an agent need be, that the observed share of imitators in experiments is sufficiently high to warrant contribution and that an increase in group size reduces the incentive to contribute. Copyright � 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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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): 4 (08)
Pages: 691-708

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:4:p:691-708

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Cited by:
  1. Edward J Cartwright & Denise Lovett, 2013. "Leadership and conditional cooperation in public good games: What difference does the game make?," Studies in Economics 1324, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2010. "Endogenous Move Structure And Voluntary Provision Of Public Goods: Theory And Experiment," Discussion Papers 2010-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," TSE Working Papers 13-383, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  4. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," LERNA Working Papers 13.02.389, LERNA, University of Toulouse.

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