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Imitation and the Incentive to Contribute Early in a Sequential Public Good Game

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  • EDWARD CARTWRIGHT
  • AMRISH PATEL

Abstract

Whether motivated by reciprocity or conformity, imitation is common in public good contexts. We consider the incentive for an agent to contribute to a public good if he expects imitation from others. Using a sequential public good game with exogenous ordering, we show that agents early enough in the sequence who believe imitation to be sufficiently likely would want to contribute. By contributing, they expect total contributions to increase significantly. We also show that preferences determine how early an agent need be, that the observed share of imitators in experiments is sufficiently high to warrant contribution and that an increase in group size reduces the incentive to contribute. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • 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, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:4:p:691-708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2011. "Endogenous Move Structure and Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Experiment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 721-754, October.
    2. Edward Cartwright & Joris Gillet & Mark Van Vugt, 2013. "Leadership By Example In The Weak-Link Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 2028-2043, October.
    3. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:143-167 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Edward J. Cartwright & Denise Lovett, 2014. "Conditional Cooperation and the Marginal per Capita Return in Public Good Games," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-23, November.
    5. Edward J Cartwright & Denise Lovett, 2013. "Leadership and conditional cooperation in public good games: What difference does the game make?," Studies in Economics 1324, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    6. Yan, Shiqing, 2017. "The evolution of human mobility based on the public goods game," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 478(C), pages 69-76.
    7. repec:eee:joepsy:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:152-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," LERNA Working Papers 13.02.389, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    9. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," TSE Working Papers 13-383, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

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