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Dealing with aversion to the sucker's payoff in public goods games

  • Douadia Bougherara


    (INRA, UMR1302, F-35000 Rennes, France)

  • Sandrine Costa


    (INRA-ENGREF, UMR0356, F-54000 Nancy, France)

  • Gilles Grolleau


    (INRA-SUPAGRO, UMR1135, F-34000 Montpellier, France)

  • Lisette Ibanez


    (INRA, UMR1135, F-34000 Montpellier, France)

A usual explanation to low levels of contribution to public goods is the fear of getting the sucker's payoff (cooperation by the participant and defection by the other players). In order to disentangle the effect of this fear from other motives, we design a public good game where people have an insurance against getting the sucker's payoff. We show that contributions to the public good under this ‘protective' design are significantly higher and interact with expectations on other individuals' contribution to the public good. Some policy implications and extensions are suggested.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 3194-3202

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-09-00730
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2002. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-134, January.
  3. David Lucking-Reiley & John List, 2002. "The effects of seed money and refunds on charitable giving: Experimental evidence from a university capital campaign," Natural Field Experiments 00301, The Field Experiments Website.
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