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Does Contributing Sequentially Increase the Level of Cooperation in Public Goods Games ? An Experimental Investigation

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  • David Masclet

    ()
    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes I - Université de Caen)

  • Marc Willinger

    (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpellierain d'économie théorique et appliquée - CNRS : UMR5474 - INRA : UR1135 - CIHEAM - Université Montpellier I - Montpellier SupAgro)

Abstract

We run a series of experiments in which subjects have to choose their level of contribution to a pure public good. Our design differs from the standard public good game with respect to the decision procedure. Instead of deciding simultaneously in each round, subjects are randomly ordered in a sequence which differs from round to round. We compare sessions in which subjects can observe the exact contributions from earlier decisions ("Sequential treatment with Information") to sessions in which subjects decide sequentially but cannot observe earlier contributions ("Sequential treatment without information"). Furthermore, we investigate the effect of group size on aggregate contributions. Our result indicate that contributing sequentially increases the level of contribution to the public good when subjects are informed about the contribution levels of lower ranked subjects. Moreover, we observe that earlier players in the sequence try to influence positively the contributions of subsequent decision makers in the sequence, by making a large contribution. Such behaviour is motivated by the belief that subsequent players will reciprocate by also making a large contribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00009661.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00009661

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Keywords: Public good; sequential Game; contribution;

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Keser, Claudia, 1996. "Voluntary contributions to a public good when partial contribution is a dominant strategy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 359-366, March.
  4. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Amershi, A.H. & Sadanand, A.B. & Sadanand, V., 1989. "Manipulated Nash Equilibria - I: Forward Induction And Thought Process Dynamics In Extensive Form," Working Papers 1989-4, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  6. Potters, J.J.M. & Sefton, M. & Vesterlund, L., 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: An experimental study," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-302954, Tilburg University.
  7. R. Isaac & James Walker, 1998. "Nash as an Organizing Principle in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 191-206, December.
  8. Andereoni, J., 1988. "Why Free Ride? Strategies And Learning In Public Goods Experiments," Working papers 375, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Camerer, Colin F. & Knez, Marc & Weber, Roberto A., 1996. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and Weak Link Coordination Games," Working Papers 970, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  12. repec:fth:guelph:1989-4 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Moxnes, E. & Heijden, E.C.M. van der, 2000. "The Effect of Leadership in a Public Bad Experiment," Discussion Paper 2000-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Cooper, Russell & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1993. "Forward Induction in the Battle-of-the-Sexes Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1303-16, December.
  15. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  16. R. Muller & Asha Sadanand, 2003. "Order of Play, Forward Induction, and Presentation Effects in Two-Person Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25, June.
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