IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jobhdp/v111y2010i1p1-12.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is it even worth it? The effect of loss prospects in the outcome distribution of a public goods dilemma

Author

Listed:
  • McCarter, Matthew W.
  • Rockmann, Kevin W.
  • Northcraft, Gregory B.

Abstract

Contributions to public goods are premised on the expectation that the collective will realize benefit in excess of the value of required contributions. However, past research has focused on public goods of fixed and known value, for which the added value of the produced public good is obvious. Research has largely ignored public goods whose eventual value is uncertain at the time contribution decisions are made. Two studies explored the effects of outcome variance on individuals' contributions to a public good and their reasons for contributing. Contributions were negatively affected by loss prospects in the distribution of possible outcomes. Further, loss prospects directly discouraged contributions because of loss aversion, and indirectly discouraged contributions by fueling fears that others would not contribute. The negative effects of loss prospects were stronger when social uncertainty was low. Implications for social dilemma research and the effective management of collective action are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • McCarter, Matthew W. & Rockmann, Kevin W. & Northcraft, Gregory B., 2010. "Is it even worth it? The effect of loss prospects in the outcome distribution of a public goods dilemma," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 1-12, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:111:y:2010:i:1:p:1-12
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749-5978(09)00047-8
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chen, Xiao-ping & Komorita, S. S., 1994. "The Effects of Communication and Commitment in a Public Goods Social Dilemma," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 367-386, December.
    2. Chen, Xiao-Ping & Au, Wing Tung & Komorita, S. S., 1996. "Sequential Choice in a Step-Level Public Goods Dilemma: The Effects of Criticality and Uncertainty," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 37-47, January.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    4. Chen, Xiao-Ping, 1996. "The Group-Based Binding Pledge as a Solution to Public Goods Problems," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 192-202, May.
    5. Bottom, William P., 1998. "Negotiator Risk: Sources of Uncertainty and the Impact of Reference Points on Negotiated Agreements," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 89-112, November.
    6. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-845, July.
    7. Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
    8. Sabater-Grande, Gerardo & Georgantzis, Nikolaos, 2002. "Accounting for risk aversion in repeated prisoners' dilemma games: an experimental test," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-50, May.
    9. Krishnamurthy, Sandeep & Bottom, William P. & Rao, Ambar G., 2003. "Adaptive aspirations and contributions to a public good: Generic advertising as a response to decline," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 22-33.
    10. Cho, Jinsook & Lee, Jinkook, 2006. "An integrated model of risk and risk-reducing strategies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 112-120, January.
    11. Rapoport, Amnon & Eshed-Levy, Dalit, 1989. "Provision of step-level public goods: Effects of greed and fear of being gypped," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 325-344, December.
    12. Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
    13. Cortazar, Rene, 1997. "Non-redundant Groups, the Assurance Game and the Origins of Collective Action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 41-53, July.
    14. David E. Bell, 1995. "Risk, Return, and Utility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(1), pages 23-30, January.
    15. T. K. Das & Bing‐Sheng Teng, 1996. "Risk Types And Inter‐Firm Alliance Structures," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 827-843, November.
    16. Sniezek, Janet A. & May, Douglas R. & Sawyer, John E., 1990. "Social uncertainty and interdependence: A study of resource allocation decisions in groups," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 155-180, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Matthew W. McCarter & Shirli Kopelman & Thomas A. Turk & Candace E. Ybarra, 2012. "Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth: How the tragedy of the anticommons emerges in organizations," Working Papers 12-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    2. Matthew W. McCarter & Anya C. Samak & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "Divided Loyalists or Conditional Cooperators? Creating Consensus about Cooperation in Multiple Simultaneous Social Dilemmas," Working Papers 14-16, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    3. Gregory B. Northcraft & Ann E. Tenbrunsel, 2011. "Effective Matrices, Decision Frames, and Cooperation in Volunteer Dilemmas: A Theoretical Perspective on Academic Peer Review," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(5), pages 1277-1285, October.
    4. McCarter, Matthew & Sheremeta, Roman, 2013. "You Can’t Put Old Wine in New Bottles: The Effect of Newcomers on Coordination in Groups," MPRA Paper 43532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Matthew McCarter & Anya Samek & Roman Sheremeta, 2013. "Divided Loyalties or Conditional Cooperation? An Experimental Study of Contributions to Multiple Public Goods," Artefactual Field Experiments 00425, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. McCarter, Matthew W. & Budescu, David V. & Scheffran, Jürgen, 2011. "The give-or-take-some dilemma: An empirical investigation of a hybrid social dilemma," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 83-95, September.
    7. Michael Caldara & Michael T. McBride & Matthew W. McCarter & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2017. "A Study of the Triggers of Conflict and Emotional Reactions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-12, April.
    8. McCarter, Matthew W. & Wade-Benzoni, Kimberly A. & Kamal, Darcy K. Fudge & Bang, H. Min & Hyde, Steven J. & Maredia, Reshma, 2020. "Models of intragroup conflict in management: A literature review," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 925-946.
    9. Zhang, Xiaoyang & Chen, Tong & Chen, Qiao & Li, Xueya, 2020. "Will you cooperate in case the payoff can be guaranteed?," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    10. Hota, Ashish R. & Garg, Siddharth & Sundaram, Shreyas, 2016. "Fragility of the commons under prospect-theoretic risk attitudes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 135-164.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bougherara, Douadia & Denant-Boemont, Laurent & Masclet, David, 2011. "Cooperation and framing effects in provision point mechanisms: Experimental evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1200-1210, April.
    2. Gee, Laura K. & Schreck, Michael J., 2018. "Do beliefs about peers matter for donation matching? Experiments in the field and laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 282-297.
    3. Patel, Amrish & Smith, Alec, 2019. "Guilt and participation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 279-295.
    4. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 2002. "The private provision of public goods: tests of a provision point mechanism for funding green power programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 131-155, February.
    5. John Garvey, 2010. "An investigation into risk propensity in bull and bear markets," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 789-804, September.
    6. Bose, Bijetri & Rabotyagov, Sergey, 2018. "Provision of public goods using a combination of lottery and a provision point," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 99-115.
    7. Robin Chark & Vincent Mak & A. V. Muthukrishnan, 2020. "The premium as informational cue in insurance decision making," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 369-404, April.
    8. Doruk İriş & Jungmin Lee & Alessandro Tavoni, 2015. "Delegation and public pressure in a threshold public goods game: theory and experimental evidence," GRI Working Papers 186, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    9. T. K. Das & Bing-Sheng Teng, 1998. "Time and Entrepreneurial Risk Behavior," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 22(2), pages 69-88, January.
    10. Patricia Tovar, 2004. "The Effects of Loss Aversion on Trade Policy and the Anti-Trade Bias Puzzle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 499, Econometric Society.
    11. Roger Hartley & Gauthier Lanot & Ian Walker, 2014. "Who Really Wants To Be A Millionaire? Estimates Of Risk Aversion From Gameshow Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 861-879, September.
    12. Angela C M de Oliveira & John M Spraggon & Matthew J Denny, 2016. "Instrumenting Beliefs in Threshold Public Goods," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(2), pages 1-15, February.
    13. Melesse, Mequanint B. & Cecchi, Francesco, 2017. "Does Market Experience Attenuate Risk Aversion? Evidence from Landed Farm Households in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 447-466.
    14. Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten Igel & Rutström, Elisabet E., 2014. "Dual criteria decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 101-113.
      • Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten Igel & Rutström, Elisabet, 2009. "Dual Criteria Decisions," Working Papers 02-2009, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    15. M. Voorst & E. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & E. Bulte & Robert Lensink & D. van Soest, 2010. "Does conflict affect preferences? Results from field experiments in Burundi," Working Papers ECARES 2010_006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Min Gong & Jonathan Baron & Howard Kunreuther, 2009. "Group cooperation under uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 251-270, December.
    17. Neszveda, G., 2019. "Essays on behavioral finance," Other publications TiSEM 05059039-5236-42a3-be1b-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    18. Daniel Gottlieb & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2020. "Narrow Framing and Long‐Term Care Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 87(4), pages 861-893, December.
    19. Thomas J. Brennan & Andrew W. Lo & Ruixun Zhang, 2018. "Variety Is the Spice of Life: Irrational Behavior as Adaptation to Stochastic Environments," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 8(03), pages 1-39, September.
    20. Matthew W McCarter & Roman M Sheremeta, 2013. "You Can’t Put Old Wine in New Bottles: The Effect of Newcomers on Coordination in Groups," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(1), pages 1-9, January.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:111:y:2010:i:1:p:1-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.