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Linear Public Goods Experiments: A Meta-Analysis

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  • Jennifer Zelmer

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    Abstract

    Objective: To use meta-analysis techniques to assess the impact of various factors on the extent of cooperation in standard linear public goods experiments using the voluntary contributions mechanism. Data Sources: Potentially relevant experiments were identified through searches of EconLit, the Internet Documents in Economics Access Service (IDEAS), and a survey article. Review Methods: A total of 349 potentially relevant studies were identified. Of these, 27 (representing a total of 711 groups of participants) met the inclusion criteria. Data were abstracted from these studies using a standardized protocol. Results were analyzed using weighted ordinary least squares. Average group efficiency was the dependent variable. Results: The marginal per capita return, communication, constant group composition over the session (“partnersâ€), positive framing, and the use of children as subjects had a positive and significant effect (p > 0.05) on the average level of contribution to the public good. Heterogeneous endowments to subjects, experienced participants, and soliciting subjects' beliefs regarding other participants' behaviour prior to the start of the session/period had a negative and significant effect. A number of other factors were not identified as significant. Conclusion: The meta-analysis results parallel several key findings from previous literature reviews. In addition, they offer parameter estimates and an analysis of significance based on the totality of the available research evidence. More consistent reporting of the results of experiments would greatly improve the ability to conduct this type of research. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1026277420119
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (November)
    Pages: 299-310

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:6:y:2003:i:3:p:299-310

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

    Related research

    Keywords: public goods; voluntary contribution; experiment; meta-analysis;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
    2. James Andreoni, 1997. "Warm-glow versus cold-prickle: the effect of positive and negative framing on cooperation in experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 671, David K. Levine.
    3. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
    4. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Hideki Nakamura, 2001. "The 'Spite' Dilemma in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000155, David K. Levine.
    5. Rachel Croson & Melanie Marks, 2000. "Step Returns in Threshold Public Goods: A Meta- and Experimental Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 239-259, March.
    6. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Croson, Rachel T. A., 2000. "Thinking like a game theorist: factors affecting the frequency of equilibrium play," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 299-314, March.
    9. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
    10. Sef Baaijens & Peter Nijkamp & Kees Van Montfort, 1998. "Explanatory Meta-analysis for the Comparison and Transfer of Regional Tourist Income Multipliers," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(9), pages 839-849.
    11. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
    12. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
    13. Cason, Timothy N. & Khan, Feisal U., 1999. "A laboratory study of voluntary public goods provision with imperfect monitoring and communication," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 533-552, April.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
    17. Laury, Susan K. & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1995. "Anonymity and the voluntary provision of public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 365-380, August.
    18. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst & Kment, Christiane, 1996. "Does Social Exchange Increase Voluntary Cooperation?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 541-54.
    19. Nowell, Clifford & Tinkler, Sarah, 1994. "The influence of gender on the provision of a public good," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 25-36, September.
    20. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
    21. Dorsey, Robert E, 1992. " The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism with Real Time Revisions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 261-82, April.
    22. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
    24. Harbaugh, William T & Krause, Kate, 2000. "Children's Altruism in Public Good and Dictator Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 95-109, January.
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