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The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions

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  • Nicholas Bardsley

    ()

  • Peter Moffatt

    ()

Abstract

In public goods experiments, stochastic choice, censoring and motivational heterogeneity give scope for disagreement over the extent of unselfishness, and whether it is reciprocal or altruistic. We show that these problems can be addressed econometrically, by estimating a finite mixture model to isolate types, incorporating double censoring and a tremble term. Most subjects act selfishly, but a substantial proportion are reciprocal with altruism playing only a marginal role. Isolating reciprocators enables a test of Sugden’s model of voluntary contributions. We estimate that reciprocators display a self-serving bias relative to the model. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 62 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 161-193

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:62:y:2007:i:2:p:161-193

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100341

Related research

Keywords: altruism; finite mixture models; reciprocity; tobit; trembles; voluntary contributions; C1; C9; H4;

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  13. Forrest D. Nelson, 1976. "On a General Computer Algorithm for the Analysis of Models with Limited Dependent Variables," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 493-509 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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