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An exploration of the robustness of alternative laboratory methodologies: Matching funds and the provision of public goods

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  • Baker, Ronald J.
  • Walker, James M.
  • Williams, Arlington W.

Abstract

The voluntary provision of a pure public good is studied in the presence of an anonymous external donor. New data generated using experimental procedures employing both extra-credit and cash incentives, as well as asynchronous access to real-time decision rounds lasting several days, are compared to previous data generated using traditional cash-only, synchronous-access laboratory procedures. The effect on resource allocations to the public good of introducing external matching funds is examined in two different settings, lump-sum matching and one-to-one matching. The new data confirm the robustness of results previously reported in Baker et al. (2009) to the change in laboratory procedures and incentives. The new data are then used to extend the parameter space in which the two matching mechanisms are studied, including: varying within-round information regarding the current level of public-good allocations and varying group size from four to twenty group members. Allocations in lump-sum matching are no worse, and sometimes better, than one-to-one matching in these new treatments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 763-774

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:763-774

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Experiments; Public goods; Matching;

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References

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  1. John List, 2008. "Introduction to field experiments in economics with applications to the economics of charity," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 203-212, September.
  2. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-61, April.
  3. Yan Chen & F. Maxwell Harper & Joseph Konstan & Sherry Xin Li, 2010. "Social Comparisons and Contributions to Online Communities: A Field Experiment on MovieLens," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1358-98, September.
  4. Ronald J. Baker II & James M. Walker & Arlington W. Williams, 2006. "Matching Contributions and the Voluntary Provision of a Pure Public Good: Experimental Evidence," Caepr Working Papers 2006-007, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington, revised Dec 2007.
  5. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
  6. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  7. R. M Isaac & J. Walker & A. Williams, 2010. "Group Size and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence Utilizing Very Large Groups," Levine's Working Paper Archive 11, David K. Levine.
  8. repec:feb:artefa:0105 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  10. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
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