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The Demographics of Cooperation: Evidence from a Field Experiment in the Gori-Ganga Basin

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Author Info

  • Sujoy Chakravarty

    ()
    (Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, JNU, New Delhi and IMT Ghaziabad, India)

  • Carine Sebi

    (Centre des Sciences Humaines,University of Grenoble, Delhi and INRA-GAEL, India)

  • E. Somanathan

    (Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, India)

  • Emmanuel Theophilus

    (Himal Prakriti, India)

Abstract

The public goods problem (Hardin, 1968) either viewed as a problem of extraction or that of contribution has had a long history in the Social Sciences.Our experimental design uses a standard Voluntary Contributions Mechanism (VCM) game with a moderately large group of ten and face-to-face communication. The subjects, who are villagers in the Gori-Ganga Basin of the Central Himalayas, are not re-matched every period.Our results are somewhat different from laboratory experiments using a similar design such as Isaac and Walker (1988a, 1988b). A noteworthy general observation is that even with a relatively low Marginal Per Capita Return (MPCR = 0.2) and a large group we find a steady contribution rate around 55 percent, which diminishes slightly at the end of the session to around 45 percent. We also delve into the demographic characteristics of our subject pool and find that individual contribution to the common pool is determined by gender, age, caste, literacy and history of cooperation in the experiment. However, face-to-face communication is not seen to increase average individual contribution to the common pool.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan in its journal Journal of Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 9 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 231-269

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Handle: RePEc:jec:journl:v:9:y:2013:i:2:p:231-269

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Keywords: voluntary contributions mechanism; field experiments; gender; caste; minority;

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  1. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  2. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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  12. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Bouma, Jetske & Bulte, Erwin & van Soest, Daan, 2008. "Trust and cooperation: Social capital and community resource management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 155-166, September.
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