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Strategic behavior in repeated voluntary contribution experiments

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  • Mengel, Friederike
  • Peeters, Ronald

Abstract

We conduct a repeated VCM (voluntary contribution mechanism) experiment using the strategy method and compare contribution behavior in a partner and a stranger matching in both a cold and a hot setting, where the latter differs from the former by allowing participants to revise their strategies in each round. Irrespective of whether the setting is hot or cold we find that partners provide higher initial contributions than strangers. In the cold setting (without revision possibility) partners contribute more on average but do not react differently to past contributions by others than strangers. In the hot setting the dynamic contribution plans of strangers are somewhat upward-shifted. Furthermore the contributions of partners decrease more strongly than those of strangers over time in a hot setting. The reason for this effect lies in the fact that partners react much more strongly to negative experiences than strangers. Our design and results contribute to explaining the mixed evidence in the literature on partner versus stranger comparisons and allow us to understand under which conditions commitment can be conducive or harmful to achieving and sustaining higher levels of contribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Mengel, Friederike & Peeters, Ronald, 2011. "Strategic behavior in repeated voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 143-148, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:1-2:p:143-148
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Andreoni, James & Croson, Rachel, 2008. "Partners versus Strangers: Random Rematching in Public Goods Experiments," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Montizaan Raymond & Cörvers Frank & Grip Andries de & Dohmen Thomas, 2012. "Negative Reciprocity and retrenched pension rights," Research Memorandum 053, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    2. Jasmina Arifovic & John Ledyard, 2012. "Individual Evolutionary Learning, Other-regarding Preferences, and the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Discussion Papers wp12-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    3. Matthew Embrey & Friederike Mengel & Ronald Peeters, 2016. "Strategy Revision Opportunities and Collusion," Working Paper Series 08716, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    4. Matthew Embrey & Friederike Mengel & Ronald Peeters, 2016. "Strategy Revision Opportunities and Collusion," Working Paper Series 8716, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods Voluntary contributions Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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