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The individual behaviour in a public goods game

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  • Walid Hichri

Abstract

Generally, with a standard linear public goods game, one observes at the aggregate level that contributions lay between the Nash equilibrium and the social optimum and decrease over time with an end-effect.Our purpose is to see whether these general aggregate results remain available at the group and at the individual levels. To do so, we formed six groups of four persons and made them play a public goods game. At the aggregate level, we find that our results correspond almost to the standard experimental findings in literature.Using the classification of Isaac et al. (1984), we find that at the group level, only two groups adopt the standard behavior and only two groups present a behavior similar to what we obtain at the aggregate level. At the individual level, we compare contributions over time of each subject to the group and the aggregate results and classify them into types. Only in one of the 6 groups individuals adopt an homogeneous behavior. In the five other groups, individuals have different behaviors.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02893251
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing.

Volume (Year): 2 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 59-71

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Handle: RePEc:spr:irpnmk:v:2:y:2005:i:1:p:59-71

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/business/journal/12208

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Related research

Keywords: Public goods; free-riding; aggregate level; individual behaviour; experiments;

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  1. Chan, Kenneth S. & Godby, Rob & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 1997. "Equity theory and the voluntary provision of public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 349-364, March.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. W. Hichri, 2004. "Interior collective optimum in a voluntary contribution to a public-goods game," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 135-140.
  5. 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.
  6. Keser, C. & Gardner, R., 1994. "Strategic Behavior of Experienced Subjects in a Common Pool Resource Game," Papers 94-009, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  7. Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
  10. Sefton, Martin & Steinberg, Richard, 1996. "Reward structures in public good experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-287, August.
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