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Leadership and conditional cooperation in public good games: What difference does the game make?

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  • Edward J Cartwright

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  • Denise Lovett

Abstract

We investigate experimentally whether the extent of conditional cooperation in public good games depends on the marginal return to the public good and type of game. The marginal return is varied from 0.2 to 0.4 to 0.8. The 'standard' game, in which three players contribute before a follower, is compared with a leader-follower game, in which one player leads and three follow. We find no strong evidence that the marginal return or type of game makes a difference to the extent of conditional cooperation. We also find no evidence that the type of game makes a difference to unconditional contributions. The level of marginal return does, however, have a strong effect on unconditional contributions. Our results highlight the critical role that can be played by leaders in a public good game.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/1324.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 1324.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1324

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
Fax: +44 (0)1227 827850
Web page: http://www.ukc.ac.uk/economics/

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Keywords: Public good; conditional cooperation; reciprocity; leadership;

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References

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  1. Martin G. Kocher & Todd L. Cherry & Stephan Kroll & Robert J. Netzer & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Working Papers 2007-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Sabrina Teyssier & Simeon Schudy, 2012. "Heterogeneous Reactions to Heterogeneity in Returns from Public Goods," TWI Research Paper Series 73, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  3. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary leadership: motivation and influence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 635-662, March.
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  5. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism And Leading-By-Example," Discussion Papers 2009-19, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  6. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2010. "Imitation and the Incentive to Contribute Early in a Sequential Public Good Game," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 691-708, 08.
  7. Martinsson, Peter & Pham-Khanh, Nam & Villegas-Palacio, Clara, 2013. "Conditional cooperation and disclosure in developing countries," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 148-155.
  8. Kamei, Kenju, 2012. "From locality to continent: A comment on the generalization of an experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 207-210.
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  10. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
  11. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-25, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  13. 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.
  14. Kristina Leipold & Nora C. Vetter & Marcus Dittrich & Marco Lehmann-Waffenschmidt & Matthias Kliegel, 2012. "Individual and Developmental Differences in the Relationship of Preferences and Theory of Mind," CESifo Working Paper Series 4053, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thöni, 2009. "Measuring conditional cooperation: a replication study in Russia," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 87-92, March.
  16. Rivas, M. Fernanda & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "The benefits of voluntary leadership in experimental public goods games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 176-178, August.
  17. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
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