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Context effects in a negative externality experiment

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Author Info

  • Kent D. Messer

    ()
    (Department of Food & Resource Economics,University of Delaware)

  • Jordan F. Suter

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Environmental Studies,Oberlin College)

  • Jubo Yan

    ()
    (Graduate Student, Cornell University)

Abstract

This study investigates the degree to which framing and context influence observed rates of free-riding behavior in a negative externality laboratory experiment. Building on the work of Andreoni (1995a) and Messer et al. (2007) we frame the decision not to contribute to a public fund as generating a negative externality on other group members. The experimental treatments involving 252 subjects vary communication, voting, and the status quo of the initial endowment. Results indicate that allowing groups the opportunity to communicate and vote significantly reduces rates of free-riding, and this effect is especially pronounced when initial endowments are placed in the private as opposed to the public fund.

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File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2010/UDWP2010-09.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10-09.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:10-09.

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Postal: Purnell Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716
Phone: (302) 831-2565
Fax: (302) 831-6968
Web page: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/economics/department-economics/
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Related research

Keywords: Negative externality; voluntary contribution mechanism; cheap talk; voting; status quo bias; experimental economics;

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