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Endogenous Move Structure and Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Experiment

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  • DANIELE NOSENZO
  • MARTIN SEFTON

Abstract

In this paper we examine voluntary contributions to a public good when the timing of contributions is endogenously determined by contributors, focusing on the simple quasi-linear setting with two players (Varian, 1994). We show that the move order that is predicted to emerge is sensitive to how commitment opportunities are modeled. We show that a favorable move order is predicted to emerge in Hamilton and Slutsky's (1990) "observable delay" extended game, but a detrimental move order is predicted to emerge in their "action commitment" extended game. We then report a laboratory experiment designed to examine whether the predicted move ordering emerges, and how this impacts overall contributions, in these extended games. The results are similar in both extended games. We find that when the detrimental move order is observed, contributions are indeed lower, as predicted. However, this detrimental move order is seldom observed. Instead of committing to low contributions, players tend to avoid making a commitment. These experimental results on timing decisions suggest that commitment opportunities may be less damaging to public good provision than previously thought.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 13 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 721-754

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:13:y:2011:i:5:p:721-754

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Jaesoo, 2012. "Endogenous leadership in incentive contracts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 256-266.
  2. Aaron Lowen & Pamela Schmitt, 2011. "Cooperation limitations under a one-time threat of expulsion and punishment," Departmental Working Papers 33, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
  3. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Sequential versus simultaneous contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence," Discussion Papers 2009-17, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Gregor Schwerhoff, 2013. "Leadership and International Climate Cooperation," Working Papers 2013.97, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Roi Zultan & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2011. "See No Evil: Information Chains and Reciprocity in Teams," Working Papers 1108, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  6. Emrah Arbak & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary Leadership: Selection and Influence," Post-Print halshs-00664830, HAL.
  7. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary leadership: motivation and influence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 635-662, March.
  8. Steiger, Eva-Maria & Zultan, Ro'i, 2014. "See no evil: Information chains and reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-12.

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