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Step Returns in Threshold Public Goods: A Meta- and Experimental Analysis

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Author Info

  • Rachel Croson
  • Melanie Marks

Abstract

One important determinant of voluntary contributions to public goods is the value of the public good relative to that of the forgone private good. Isaac, Walker and Thomas (1984) formalized this relation in the Marginal Per Capita Return (MPCR) and demonstrated its influence on the provision of linear public goods. This paper develops a parallel concept, in the context of a threshold public good, the Step Return (SR). After providing a meta-analysis of the effect of SR in previous experiments, we compare contributions in threshold public goods games with low, medium and high SRs. Results show that subjects respond to the SR in this setting just as they respond to the MPCR in the linear public goods setting: higher SRs lead to more contributions. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 239-259

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:2:y:2000:i:3:p:239-259

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: threshold public good; provision point mechanism; experiment; meta-analysis;

References

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  1. Marks, Melanie B & Croson, Rachel T A, 1999. " The Effect of Incomplete Information in a Threshold Public Goods Experiment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 103-18, April.
  2. Asch, Peter & Gigliotti, Gary A & Polito, James A, 1993. " Free Riding with Discrete and Continuous Public Goods: Some Experimental Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 293-305, October.
  3. Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D. & Poe, Gregory L., 1997. "Voluntary Revelation Of The Demand For Public Goods Using A Provision Point Mechanism," Working Papers 7265, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  4. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1998. "Public good provision and public bad prevention: The effect of framing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 143-161, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
  7. Rapoport, Amnon & Eshed-Levy, Dalit, 1989. "Provision of step-level public goods: Effects of greed and fear of being gypped," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 325-344, December.
  8. Bram Cadsby, C. & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Gender and free riding in a threshold public goods game: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 603-620, March.
  9. Rose, Steven K. & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D. & Clark, Jeremy, 1997. "The Private Provision of Public Goods: Tests of a Provision Point Mechanism for Funding Green Power Programs," Working Papers 127850, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  10. Bram Cadsby, Charles & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Choosing between a socially efficient and free-riding equilibrium: Nurses versus economics and business students," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-192, October.
  11. Croson, Rachel & Marks, Melanie, 2001. "The Effect of Recommended Contributions in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 238-49, April.
  12. R. Isaac & David Schmidtz & James Walker, 1989. "The assurance problem in a laboratory market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 217-236, September.
  13. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601, October.
  14. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1991. "Testing for effects of cheap talk in a public goods game with private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 183-220, May.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  16. Rapoport, Amnon & Suleiman, Ramzi, 1993. "Incremental Contribution in Step-Level Public Goods Games with Asymmetric Players," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 171-194, July.
  17. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
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