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Strategic behavior in repeated voluntary contribution experiments

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  • Mengel, Friederike
  • Peeters, Ronald

Abstract

We conduct a repeated VCM (voluntary contribution mechanism) experiment using the strategy method and compare contribution behavior in a partner and a stranger matching in both a cold and a hot setting, where the latter differs from the former by allowing participants to revise their strategies in each round. Irrespective of whether the setting is hot or cold we find that partners provide higher initial contributions than strangers. In the cold setting (without revision possibility) partners contribute more on average but do not react differently to past contributions by others than strangers. In the hot setting the dynamic contribution plans of strangers are somewhat upward-shifted. Furthermore the contributions of partners decrease more strongly than those of strangers over time in a hot setting. The reason for this effect lies in the fact that partners react much more strongly to negative experiences than strangers. Our design and results contribute to explaining the mixed evidence in the literature on partner versus stranger comparisons and allow us to understand under which conditions commitment can be conducive or harmful to achieving and sustaining higher levels of contribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 143-148

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:143-148

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Public goods; Voluntary contributions; Experiment;

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References

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  1. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Andreoni,J. & Croson,R., 1998. "Partners versus strangers : random rematching in public goods experiments," Working papers 11, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2009. "Cooperation in viscous populations--Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 202-220, May.
  6. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1999. "Strategic behavior in public good games: when partners drift apart," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 35-41, January.
  7. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2006. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Working Papers 274, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2000011 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
  10. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  11. Thomas R Palfrey & Jeffrey E Prisbrey, 1997. "Altruism, reputation and noise in linear public goods experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1544, David K. Levine.
  12. Brandts, J. & Charness, G., 1998. "Hot Vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 424.98, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  13. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  14. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Jasmina Arifovic & John Ledyard, 2012. "Individual Evolutionary Learning, Other-regarding Preferences, and the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Discussion Papers wp12-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  2. Embrey Matthew & Mengel Friederike & Peeters Ronald, 2012. "Strategic commitment and cooperation in experimental games of strategic complements and substitutes," Research Memorandum 052, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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