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Announcement, Observation And Honesty In The Voluntary Contributions Game

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  • LAURENT DENANT‐BOEMONT
  • DAVID MASCLET
  • CHARLES NOUSSAIR

Abstract

In this paper, we study the effect of announcement and observation on voluntary public good provision. We find that requiring individuals to make a non-binding prior public announcement about their contribution level has no significant effect on average contributions. Making public each individual's contribution decision also has no significant impact on contribution levels. However, requiring announcements, in conjunction with making contribution decisions public, has a significantly positive effect on the average level of contributions. The treatments, in which announcements were elicited, permit the truthfulness of subjects' announcements to be measured. We find that high contributors are more honest, the truthfulness of others is reciprocated with greater honesty, and announcements are more honest when contribution decisions are observable.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Pacific Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 16 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 207-228

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Handle: RePEc:bla:pacecr:v:16:y:2011:i:2:p:207-228

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  1. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
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  3. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
  4. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "Punishing Free Riders: how group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0206, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  5. Andreoni, James A & Miller, John H, 1993. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 570-85, May.
  6. Khalil, Elias L., 2004. "What is altruism?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 97-123, February.
  7. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
  9. Anderson, Christopher M. & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Do non-strategic sanctions obey the law of demand? The demand for punishment in the voluntary contribution mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-24, January.
  10. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Ingela Alger & Regis Renault, 2000. "Screening Ethics when Honest Agents Care about Fairness," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 489, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Nov 2004.
  12. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Gioia de Melo & Matías Piaggio, 2012. "The perils of peer punishment. Evidence from a common pool resource framed field experiment," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 12-16, Instituto de Economía - IECON.

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