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Announcement, Observation, and Honesty in the Voluntary Contributions Game

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  • Laurent Denant-Boemont
  • David Masclet
  • Charles Noussair

Abstract

In this paper, we study the effect of announcement and observation on voluntary public good provision. We find that requiring individuals to make a non-binding prior public announcement about their contribution level has no significant effect on average contributions. Making public each individual's contribution decision also has no significant impact on contribution levels. However, requiring announcements, in conjunction with making contribution decisions public, has a significantly positive effect on the average level of contributions. The treatments, in which announcements were elicited, permit the truthfulness of subjects' announcements to be measured. We find that high contributors are more honest, the truthfulness of others is reciprocated with greater honesty, and announcements are more honest when contribution decisions are observable.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0509.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0509

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  1. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  2. Louis Putterman & Christopher M. Anderson, 2003. "Do Non-strategic Sanctions Obey the Law of Demand? The Demand for Punishment in the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Working Papers 2003-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ingela Alger & Régis Renault, 2006. "Screening Ethics When Honest Agents Care About Fairness ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 59-85, 02.
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  6. repec:att:wimass:9102 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Gintis, Herbert, 2004. "The genetic side of gene-culture coevolution: internalization of norms and prosocial emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 57-67, January.
  8. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  9. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  10. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "Punishing Free Riders: how group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0206, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  11. Khalil, Elias L., 2004. "What is altruism?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 97-123, February.
  12. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  13. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
  14. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Gioia de Melo Sella, 2012. "The perils of peer punishment: Evidence from a common pool resource framed field experiment," Working Papers 201238, Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program, revised 2012.

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