A Note on the Design of Experiments Involving Public Goods
AbstractConcern about potential free riding in the provision of public goods has a long history. More recently, experimental economists have turned their attention to the conditions under which free riding would be expected to occur. A model of free riding is provided here which demonstrates that existing experimental approaches fail to explore a potentially important real-world dimension of free riding. In a cash-in-advance economy, free riding becomes a two-stage problem, while existing experiments only address the second stage. That is, one would expect households with high demands for public goods relative to private goods to generate less income than households preferring ordinary private goods, because the former are unable to individually increment the public good and leisure is valuable. Existing experiments start with a given number of “tokens” for each decision-maker, effectively only addressing the second stage of the free riding problem, namely, under what conditions free riding becomes a problem out of a given income. A recommended solution to this problem is to incorporate the potential to generate income prior to (or simultaneously with) the decision of how to allocate that income between private and public goods.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3187.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
decision making; choice behavior; public goods; experimental economics; altruism; fairness; conditional reciprocity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
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.:
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Graves Philip E, 2009.
"A Note on the Valuation of Collective Goods: Overlooked Input Market Free Riding for Non-Individually Incrementable Goods,"
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-20, February.
- Graves, Philip E., 2009. "A note on the valuation of collective goods: overlooked input market free riding for non-individually incrementable goods," MPRA Paper 19928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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