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Common-Value Public Goods and Informational Social Dilemmas

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  • Caleb A. Cox
  • Brock Stoddard

Abstract

We experimentally examine private information and communication in a public goods environment with uncertain returns. We consider a common-value public goods game in which the return to contribution is either high or low. Before contributing, three players observe private signals correlated with the return and send cheap talk messages to one another. There are social gains from truthfulness, but a private incentive to exaggerate. We compare treatments with and without cheap talk, finding that communication is largely truthful and increases efficiency. In further treatments, we increase the incentive to exaggerate and find reduced truthfulness and smaller gains from communication.

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  • Caleb A. Cox & Brock Stoddard, 2021. "Common-Value Public Goods and Informational Social Dilemmas," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 343-369, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:13:y:2021:i:2:p:343-69
    DOI: 10.1257/mic.20180275
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    Cited by:

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    2. Hajikhameneh, Aidin & Iannaccone, Laurence R., 2023. "God games: An experimental study of uncertainty, superstition, and cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 88-116.
    3. Ai Takeuchi & Erika Seki, 2023. "Overcoming problems of coordination and freeriding in a game with multiple public goods: dynamic contribution with information provision," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 379-411, July.
    4. Kaywana Raeburn & Sonia Laszlo & Jim Warnick, 2023. "Resolving ambiguity as a public good: experimental evidence from Guyana," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 79-107, July.
    5. Evan M. Calford & Timothy N. Cason, 2021. "Contingent Reasoning and Dynamic Public Goods Provision," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2021-679, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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