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Altruism and Voluntary Provision of Public Goods

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Author Info

  • Dowling, M.
  • Hall, O.
  • Ma, L.
  • Sherstyuk, K.

Abstract

We study how people's predisposition towards altruism, as measured by tools developed by psychologists, affects their behaviour in a voluntary contributions public good environment. Earlier experiments provide evidence against the strong free rider hypothesis; however, contributions to the public good decrease with repetition. We investigate whether a high level of contributions can be sustained in groups of subjects who have been pre-selected on the basis of their altruistic inclinations. In the first stage of the experiment, each subject responds to a psychology questionnaire that measures various dimensions of one's personality. The subjects are then matched in groups according to their altruism scores, and engage in a voluntary contribution game. We consider whether the levels and dynamics of group contributions differ significantly between the groups with altruists and non-altruists. We find that subjects' altruism has a weak but positive effect on group behaviour in the public good game.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 760.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:760

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Keywords: PUBLIC OWNERSHIP ; BEHAVIOUR ; GAMES;

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References

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  4. Bohm, Peter, 1972. "Estimating demand for public goods: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 111-130.
  5. Dowling, M. & Hall, O. & Ma, L. & Sherstyuk, K., 2000. "Altruism and Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 760, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-45, July.
  9. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Pablo Brañas-Garza & María Paz Espinosa, 2008. "Unraveling Public Good Games," ThE Papers 08/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  2. James Tully, 2005. "Communication Networks, Hegemony, and Communicative Action," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0015, University of Bath, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages.
  3. Leanne Ma & Katerina Sherstyuk & Malcom Dowling & Oliver Hill, 2000. "Altruism and Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers 200013, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  4. Kurtis J. Swope & John Cadigan & Pamela M. Schmitt & Robert S. Shupp, 2005. "Personality Preferences in Laboratory Economics Experiments," Working Papers 200507, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2005.
  5. Isabelle Vialle & Luis Santos-Pinto & Jean-Louis Rullière, 2011. "Self-Confidence and Teamwork : An Experimental Test," Working Papers 1126, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  6. Alexis Belianin & Marco Novarese, 2005. "Trust, communication and equlibrium behaviour in public goods," Experimental 0506001, EconWPA.
  7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2002:i:31:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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