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The effects of voice with(out) punishment: Public goods provision and rule compliance


  • Morgan, Stephen N.
  • Mason, Nicole M.
  • Shupp, Robert S.


We investigate the effect of voice exercised through comment-based participation on individual public goods provision. We implement a modified linear public goods game with treatments along two dimensions. First, we introduce a comment mechanism where individuals can provide unstructured feedback to influence a third-party rule-maker who determines a minimum contribution rule (MCR) at the beginning of the game. Second, we implement a probabilistic sanctioning mechanism for individuals who do not contribute at least the MCR. We find that without punishment, comments are insufficient to maintain high contribution levels over time. However, when enforcement is present, comment-based participation has a positive effect on players’ contributions to the public good and on their probability of compliance with the MCR. Comments also have a large positive effect on the MCR set by the rule-maker; players, in turn, respond to an increase in the MCR by making larger contributions to the public good.

Suggested Citation

  • Morgan, Stephen N. & Mason, Nicole M. & Shupp, Robert S., 2019. "The effects of voice with(out) punishment: Public goods provision and rule compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:74:y:2019:i:c:s0167487018305713
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2019.102190

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    More about this item


    Public goods; Minimum contribution rules; Voice; Procedural fairness; Compliance;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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