The Emergence of Coordination in Public Good Games
AbstractIn physical models it is well understood that the aggregate behaviour of a system is not in one to one correspondence with the behaviour of the average individual element of that system. Yet, in many economic models the behaviour of aggregates is thought of as corresponding to that of an individual. A typical example is that of public goods experiments. A systematic feature of such experiments is that, with repetition, people contribute less to public goods. A typical explanation is that people “learn to play Nash” or something approaching it. To justify such anexplanation, an individual learning model is tested on average or aggregate data. In this paper we will examine this idea by analysing average and individual behaviour in a series of public goods experiments. We analyse data from a series of games of contributions to public goods and firstly to see what happens, if we follow the standard approach and test a learning model on the average data. We then look at individual data, examine the changes that this produces and see if somegeneral model such as the EWA (Expected Weighted Attraction) with varying parameters can account for individual behaviour. We find that once we disaggregate data such models have poor explanatory power. Groups do not learn as supposed, their behaviour differs markedly from one group to another, and the behaviour of the individuals who make up the groups also varies within groups. The decline in aggregate contributions cannot be explained by resorting to a uniformmodel of individual behaviour.
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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published, European Physical Journal B, 2007, 55, 2, 149-159
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Experimental Economics; Public Goods; Learning models; Individual and Aggregate behaviour.;
Other versions of this item:
- W. Hichri & A. Kirman, 2007. "The emergence of coordination in public good games," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 149-159, 01.
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