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Cycles of Conditional Cooperation in a Real-Time Voluntary Contribution Mechanism

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  • M. Vittoria Levati

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Kahlaische Strasse 10, D-07745 Jena, Germany)

  • Ro’i Zultan

    ()
    (Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK)

Abstract

This paper provides a new way to identify conditional cooperation in a real-time version of the standard voluntary contribution mechanism. We define contribution cycles as the number of contributors a player waits for before committing to a further contribution, and use a permutation test on contribution cycles to assign a measure of conditional cooperation to each group play. The validity of the measures is tested in an experiment. We find that roughly 20% of the plays exhibit dynamics of conditional cooperation. Moreover, notwithstanding a decline in contributions, conditional cooperation is found to be stable over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-15

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:2:y:2011:i:1:p:1-15:d:10959

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Keywords: public goods game; real-time protocol; information feedback; conditional cooperation;

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References

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  1. Buckley, Edward & Croson, Rachel, 2006. "Income and wealth heterogeneity in the voluntary provision of linear public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 935-955, May.
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  4. Goren, Harel & Kurzban, Robert & Rapoport, Amnon, 2003. "Social loafing vs. social enhancement: Public goods provisioning in real-time with irrevocable commitments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 277-290, March.
  5. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  6. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, 06.
  7. Neugebauer, Tibor & Perote, Javier & Schmidt, Ulrich & Loos, Malte, 2009. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 52-60, February.
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  9. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing ‘Conditional Cooperation’ in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Güth, Werner & Levati, Maria Vittoria & Stiehler, Andreas, 2002. "Privately contributing to public goods over time: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,18, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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  13. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  14. Engelmann, Dirk & Strobel, Martin, 1999. "The false consensus effect disappears if representative information and monetary incentives are given," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,66, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  15. 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.
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  17. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-25, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. 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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