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The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions

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  • Nicholas Bardsley

    (CeDEx, School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Peter Moffatt

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

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    Abstract

    In public goods experiments, stochastic choice, censoring, and motivational heterogeneity allow experimentalists to differ over the extent of unselfishness, and whether it is reciprocal or altruistic. These problems are addressed econometrically by estimating a finite mixture model to isolate types, incorporating the two-limit Tobit model with tremble to accommodate censoring and errors. 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, which is rejected because they display a selfserving bias.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005-09.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2005-09

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

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    Cited by:
    1. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gächter, 2005. "Heterogeneous social preferences and the dynamics of free riding in public goods," IEW - Working Papers 261, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Claude Montmarquette, 2008. "L'économétrie des données expérimentales : défis et opportunités," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 182(1), pages 7-17.

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