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Crowding Out Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods

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  • Kenneth S. Chan
  • Rob Godby
  • Stuart Mestelman
  • R. Andrew Muller

Abstract

We test the null hypothesis that involuntary transfers for the provision of a public good will completely crowd out voluntary transfers against the warm-glow hypothesis that crowding-out will be incomplete because individuals care about giving. Our design differs from the related design used by Andreoni in considering two levels of the involuntary transfer and a wider range of contribution possibilities, and in mixing groups every period instead of every four periods. We analyse the data with careful attention to boundary effects. We retain the null hypothesis of complete crowding-out in two of three pairwise comparisions, but reject it in favour of incomplete crowding-out in the comparison most closely akin to Andreoni’s design. Thus we confirm the existence of incomplete crowding-out in some environments, but suggest that the warm-glow hypothesis is inadequate in explaining it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1998-03.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:1998-03

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References

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  1. James Andreoni, 1997. "Warm-glow versus cold-prickle: the effect of positive and negative framing on cooperation in experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 671, David K. Levine.
  2. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486, February.
  3. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Neil Buckley & Kenneth Chan & James Chowhan & Stuart Mestelman & Mohamed Shehata, 2001. "Value Orientations, Income and Displacement Effects, and Voluntary Contributions," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 183-195, October.
  6. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
  8. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  9. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, October.
  10. Kingma, Bruce Robert, 1989. "An Accurate Measurement of the Crowd-Out Effect, Income Effect, and Price Effect for Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1197-1207, October.
  11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  12. Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-02, McMaster University.
  13. Brunton, Douglas & Hasan, Rabia & Mestelman, Stuart, 2001. "The 'spite' dilemma: spite or no spite, is there a dilemma?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 405-412, June.
  14. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 1998. "A theoretical analysis of altruism and decision error in public goods games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 297-323, November.
  15. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
  17. Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Rob Moir & R. Andrew Muller Moir, 1996. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods under Varying Income Distributions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 54-69, February.
  18. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Laury, Susan K., 2002. "Private costs and public benefits: unraveling the effects of altruism and noisy behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 255-276, February.
  19. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
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  22. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  23. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-27, December.
  24. Roberts, Russell D, 1984. "A Positive Model of Private Charity and Public Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 136-48, February.
  25. Chan, Kenneth S. & Godby, Rob & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 1997. "Equity theory and the voluntary provision of public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 349-364, March.
  26. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  27. Hackett Steven & Schlager Edella & Walker James, 1994. "The Role of Communication in Resolving Commons Dilemmas: Experimental Evidence with Heterogeneous Appropriators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 99-126, September.
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