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Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis

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  • Marc Willinger

    ()

  • Anthony Ziegelmeyer

Abstract

We present the results of an experiment on voluntary contributions to a public good with a unique dominant strategy equilibrium in the interior of the strategy space. The treatment variable is the equilibrium contribution level. By increasing the equilibrium contribution level, we reduce the “strength†of the social dilemma. Though we observe that the average level of contribution rises with the equilibrium contribution level, the average rate of over-contribution is not affected in a systematic way. Over-contribution is statistically significant only at the lower level of equilibrium contribution but not at the higher levels. We show that the Anderson et al. (1998, Journal of Public Economics. 70, 297–323) logit equilibrium model which combines altruism and decision errors fits quite well our laboratory data. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1011433904265
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 131-144

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:4:y:2001:i:2:p:131-144

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

Related research

Keywords: experimental economics; public goods; interior equilibria; altruism; decision error; logit equilibrium;

References

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  1. Kenneth S. Chan & Robert Godby & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Crowding Out Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-01, McMaster University.
  2. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
  3. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  6. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  7. Keser, Claudia, 1996. "Voluntary contributions to a public good when partial contribution is a dominant strategy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 359-366, March.
  8. Holt, Charles A. & Laury, Susan K., 2008. "Theoretical Explanations of Treatment Effects in Voluntary Contributions Experiments," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  9. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 1998. "A theoretical analysis of altruism and decision error in public goods games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 297-323, November.
  10. repec:att:wimass:9006 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Sefton, Martin & Steinberg, Richard, 1996. "Reward structures in public good experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-287, August.
  12. R. Isaac & James Walker, 1998. "Nash as an Organizing Principle in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 191-206, December.
  13. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  14. Marc WILLINGER & Anthony ZIEGELMEYER, 1999. "Non-Cooperative Behavior in a Public Goods Experiment with Interior Solution," Working Papers of BETA 9922, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-27, December.
  16. Laury, Susan K. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ralph-C. Bayer & Elke Renner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2013. "Confusion and learning in the voluntary contributions game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 478-496, December.
  2. Nicholas Bardsley & Peter Moffatt, 2007. "The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 161-193, March.
  3. Jonathan Maurice & Marc Willinger & Agathe Rouaix, 2009. "Income Redistribution and Public Good Provision: an Experiment," Working Papers 09-12, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2011.
  4. Hichri, Walid, 2004. "Interior Collective Optimum in a Volontary Contribution to a Public-Goods Game : An Experimental Approach," MPRA Paper 7883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Francois Cochard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Kene Boun My, 2004. "Regulation of Nonpoint Emissions under Limited Information: A Stress Experimental Test of the Ambient Tax Mechanism," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-33, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Kene Boun My & Francois Cochard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2007. "On the Acceptability of the Ambient Tax Mechanism: An Experimental Investigation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-081, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Walid Hichri, 2006. "Individual strategies and aggregate behavior in a public-goods experiment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(15), pages 969-973.
  8. Walid HICHRI, 2005. "The Individual Behavior in a Public Goods game," Experimental 0502003, EconWPA.
  9. Breitmoser, Yves, 2010. "Structural modeling of altruistic giving," MPRA Paper 24262, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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