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Are cooperators effciency- or fair-minded? Evidence from a public goods experiment

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Author Info

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena, Germany)

  • Matteo Ploner

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena, Germany, and University of Trento, Italy)

  • Stefan Traub

    ()
    (Department of Business and Economics, University of Bremen, Germany)

Abstract

We use a two-person public goods experiment to distinguish between efficiency and fairness as possible motivations for cooperative behavior. Asymmetric marginal per capita returns allow only the high-productivity player to increase group payoffs when contributing positive amounts. Asymmetric contributions, however, yield unequal individual payoffs. To assess a priori cooperative preferences, we measure individual 'value-orientations' by means of the decomposed game technique. Overall, our results indicate that fairness (or inequality aversion) is more influential than efficiency in driving behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-067.

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Date of creation: 20 Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-067

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Keywords: Public goods experiments; Conditional cooperation; Fairness; Efficiency; Value orientations;

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Cited by:
  1. Gerlinde Fellner & Gabriele K. L√ľnser, 2008. "Cooperation in local and global groups," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp122, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  2. Astrid Dannenberg & Bodo Sturm & Carsten Vogt, 2010. "Do Equity Preferences Matter for Climate Negotiators? An Experimental Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(1), pages 91-109, September.

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