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Guilt and participation

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  • Patel, Amrish
  • Smith, Alec

Abstract

How does guilt affect participation in providing public goods? We characterise and analyse completely mixed symmetric equilibria (CMSE) in participation games where players are guilt averse. We find that relative to material preferences, guilt aversion can: facilitate the existence of CMSE; increase or decrease participation; and imply that group size has a non-monotonic effect on participation. Using our equilibrium characterisation we also re-analyse experimental data on participation games and find a low, but positive, guilt sensitivity parameter.

Suggested Citation

  • Patel, Amrish & Smith, Alec, 2019. "Guilt and participation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 279-295.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:167:y:2019:i:c:p:279-295
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.06.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Rimbaud, Claire & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Embezzlement and guilt aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 409-429.
    2. Caria, A. Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2019. "Expectations, network centrality, and public good contributions: Experimental evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 391-408.
    3. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2020. "Belief-Dependent Motivations and Psychological Game Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 8285, CESifo.
    4. Dhami, Sanjit & Wei, Mengxing & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2019. "Public goods games and psychological utility: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 361-390.
    5. Peeters, Ronald & Vorsatz, Marc, 2021. "Simple guilt and cooperation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    6. Cartwright, Edward, 2019. "A survey of belief-based guilt aversion in trust and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 430-444.
    7. Rossella Ferrario & Elena Manzoni, 2020. "Emotions Matter for Policy-Making: An Example on Tacit Collusion and Guilt," Working Papers 20/2020, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Sanjit Dhami & Mengxing Wei & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2021. "Classical and Belief-Based Gift Exchange Models: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 8992, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Participation; Threshold public good; Volunteer’s dilemma; Psychological games; Guilt aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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