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Disposition, History and Contributions in Public Goods Experiments

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Author Info

  • Anna Gunnthorsdottir

    (Australian Graduate School of Management)

  • Daniel Houser

    (George Mason University)

  • Kevin McCabe

    (George Mason University)

  • Holly Ameden

    (Berkeley)

Abstract

Private incentives to invest in a public good are modeled as self- interested reciprocity where individuals use reputational scoring rules to determine their optimal level of investment. The model predicts that the disposition of any subject to cooperate is revealed by their first period investment in a voluntary contribution experiment, and that grouping cooperative subjects together will improve, and in some circumstances sustain, their private investment in the public good. Actual investment behavior is then studied with laboratory experiments that compare the contributions of subjects randomly reassigned into groups to contributions under a mechanism that sorts subjects into groups based on their individual investment decisions. The sorting mechanism helps to keep subjects with cooperative dispositions together and leads to statistically significant increases, relative to the random matching condition, in cooperators’ investments in the public good.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0401001.

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Date of creation: 09 Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0401001

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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: public goods; experiments; cooperation; type classification; individual differences;

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References

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  1. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
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  8. Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Claudia Keser, 1999. "Mobility and Cooperation: On the Run," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-24, CIRANO.
  9. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 1999. "Mobility and cooperation: on the run," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-69, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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  17. Houser, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2004. "How Do Behavioral Assumptions Affect Structural Inference? Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," Munich Reprints in Economics 19372, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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