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Confusion and Learning in the Voluntary Contributions Game

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  • Ralph-C Bayer

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Elke Renner

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Rupert Sausbruber

    ()
    (Department of Economics & Statistics, University of Innsbruck)

Abstract

We use a limited information environment to assess the role of confusion in the repeated voluntary contributions game. A comparison with play in a standard version of the game suggests, that the common claim that decision errors due to confused subjects biases estimates of cooperation upwards, is not necessarily correct. Furthermore, we find that simple learning cannot generate the kind of contribution dynamics commonly attributed to the existence of conditional cooperators. We conclude that cooperative behavior and its decay observed in public goods games is not a pure artefact of confusion and learning.

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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 2012-18.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2012-18

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Keywords: voluntary contribution mechanism; public goods experiments; learning; limited information; confusion; conditional cooperation;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nielsen, Ulrik H. & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2014. "Second thoughts on free riding," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 136-139.
  2. Conte, Anna & Levati, Vittoria & Montinari, Natalia, 2014. "Experience in Public Goods Experiments," Working Papers 2014:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00817201 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Heinrich H. Nax & Maxwell N. Burton-Chellew & Stuart A. West & H. Peyton Young, 2013. "Learning in a Black Box," PSE Working Papers hal-00817201, HAL.
  5. H Peyton Young & H.H. Nax & M.N. Burton-Chellew & S.A. West, 2013. "Learning in a Black Box," Economics Series Working Papers 653, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Bernd Irlenbusch & Rainer Michael Rilke, 2013. "(Public) Good Examples - On the Role of Limited Feedback in Voluntary Contribution Games," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 04-04, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.

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