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Sequential vs. simultaneous contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence

  • Gächter, Simon
  • Nosenzo, Daniele
  • Renner, Elke
  • Sefton, Martin

We report an experiment comparing sequential and simultaneous contributions to a public good in a quasi-linear two-person setting. In one parameterization we find that overall provision is lower under sequential than simultaneous contributions, as predicted, but the distribution of contributions is not as extreme as predicted and first movers do not attain their predicted first-mover advantage. In another parameterization we again find that the distribution of contributions is not as predicted when the first mover is predicted to free ride, but we find strong support for equilibrium predictions when the second mover is predicted to free ride. These results can be explained by second movers' willingness to punish first movers who free ride, and unwillingness to reward first movers who contribute.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 515-522

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:7-8:p:515-522
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
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  5. James Andreoni & William T. harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-01, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 20 Aug 2002.
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  7. Laurent Muller & Martin Sefton & Richard Steinberg & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Strategic Behavior and Learning in Repeated Voluntary-Contribution Experiments," Discussion Papers 2005-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  10. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  14. Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Endogenous Move Structure And Voluntary Provision Of Public Goods: Theory And Experiment," Discussion Papers 2009-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  15. Coats, Jennifer C. & Gronberg, Timothy J. & Grosskopf, Brit, 2009. "Simultaneous versus sequential public good provision and the role of refunds -- An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 326-335, February.
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