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The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions

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  • Nicholas Bardsley

    (CeDEx, School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Peter Moffatt

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

Abstract

In public goods experiments, stochastic choice, censoring, and motivational heterogeneity allow experimentalists to differ over the extent of unselfishness, and whether it is reciprocal or altruistic. These problems are addressed econometrically by estimating a finite mixture model to isolate types, incorporating the two-limit Tobit model with tremble to accommodate censoring and errors. Most subjects act selfishly, but a substantial proportion are reciprocal with altruism playing only a marginal role. Isolating reciprocators enables a test of Sugden’s model of voluntary contributions, which is rejected because they display a selfserving bias.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005-09.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2005-09

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/cedex/
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Related research

Keywords: voluntary contributions; reciprocity; altruism; tobit; finite mixture models; trembles;

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References

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  1. Broseta, Bruno & Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P., 2000. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0fp8278k, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
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  15. Peter Moffatt & Simon Peters, 2001. "Testing for the Presence of a Tremble in Economic Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 221-228, December.
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