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‘Expressive’ Obligations in Public Good Games: Crowding-in and Crowding-out Effects

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Author Info

  • Michele Bernasconi

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)

  • Luca Corazzini

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Università di Padova.)

  • Anna Marenzi

    (Dipartimento di Economia, Università dell'Insubria.)

Abstract

We study individual behaviour in a repeated linear public good experiment in which, in each period, subjects are required to contribute a minimum level and face a certain probability to be audited. Audited subjects who contribute less than the minimum level are convicted to pay the difference between the obligation required and the voluntary contribution. We study the ‘expressive’ power of the obligations. While at early stages subjects contribute the minimum level, with repetition contributions decline below the required amount indicating that expressive obligations are not capable to sustain cooperation. We observe that expressive obligations exert a rather robust crowding-out effect on voluntary contributions as compared to a standard public good game. The crowding-out is stronger when payments collected by the monitoring activity are distributed to subjects rather than when they are pure dead-weight-loss.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" in its series Working Papers with number 2010_04.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2010_04

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Keywords: Expressive law; motivation crowding theory; laboratory experiments;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Christoph Engel & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "The Coevolution of Behavior and Normative Expectations. Customary Law in the Lab," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_32, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  2. Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur J.H.C. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2014. "Reprint of: Bidding to give in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 87-100.
  3. Theodore Eisenberg & Christoph Engel, 2012. "Assuring Adequate Deterrence in Tort: A Public Good Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Sander Onderstal & Arthur J.C. Schram & Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2011. "Bidding to give in the Field: Door-to-Door Fundraisers had it right from the Start," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-070/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 10 Nov 2011.

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