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Communication, Advice and Beliefs in an Experimental Public Goods Game

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  • Ananish Chaudhuri
  • Pushkar Maitra
  • Susan Skeath

Abstract

We study the efficacy of horizontal versus vertical social learning processes in a public goods game. In one treatment, subjects about to play the game can make nonbinding common knowledge announcements about their intentions while, in another, subjects do not communicate directly with group members but receive common knowledge advice from the previous generation of players. A third treatment has subjects play with neither communication nor advice. We find that groups that engage in peer communication achieve much lower levels of contribution to the public good than do groups that receive advice. We attribute this finding in part to the fact that some subjects in the communication treatment opted to make no announcement during the communication phase of play.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 05/06.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2006-05

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Keywords: Voluntary contributions mechanism; Advice; Communication; Beliefs; Experiments.;

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  1. repec:bla:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:2:p:357-380 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
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  10. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
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  12. Andrew Schotter, 2003. "Decision Making with Naive Advice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 196-201, May.
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