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Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison

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  • Timothy Cason

    ()

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    ()

  • Takehiko Yamato

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies voluntary public good provision in the laboratory, in a cross-cultural experiment conducted in the United States and Japan. Our environment differs from the standard voluntary contribution mechanism because subjects first decide whether or not to participate in providing this non-excludable public good. This participation decision is conveyed to the other subject prior to the subjects' contribution decisions. We find that only the American data are consistent with the evolutionary-stable-strategy Nash equilibrium predictions, and that behavior is significantly different across countries. Japanese subjects are more likely to act spitefully in the early periods of the experiment, even though our design changes subject pairings each period so that no two subjects ever interact twice. Surprisingly, this spiteful behavior eventually leads to more efficient public good contributions for Japanese subjects than for American subjects. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 133-153

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:5:y:2002:i:2:p:133-153

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

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Keywords: fairness; other regarding preferences; subject pools; culture;

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References

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  1. Brandts, J. & Saijo, T. & Schram, A., 2000. "A Four Country Comparision of Spite, Cooperation and Errors in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," ISER Discussion Paper 0496, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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  19. Saijo, T. & Yamato, T. & Yokotani, K. & Cason, T.N., 2000. "Voluntary Participation Game Experiments with a Non-Excludable Public Good: Is Spitefulness a Source of Cooperation?," ISER Discussion Paper 0494, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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