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Individual evolutionary learning, other-regarding preferences, and the voluntary contributions mechanism

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  • Arifovic, Jasmina
  • Ledyard, John

Abstract

The data from experiments with the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism suggest five stylized facts, including the restart effect. To date, no theory has explained all of these facts simultaneously. We merge our Individual Evolutionary Learning model with a variation of heterogeneous other-regarding preferences and a distribution of types to provide a new theory that does. In addition, our theory answers some open questions concerning the data on partners–strangers experiments. One interesting feature of the theory is that being a conditional cooperator is not a type but arises endogenously as a behavior. The data generated by our model are quantitatively similar to data from a variety of experiments, and experimenters, and are insensitive to moderate variations in the parameters of the model. That is, we have a robust explanation for most behavior in VCM experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • Arifovic, Jasmina & Ledyard, John, 2012. "Individual evolutionary learning, other-regarding preferences, and the voluntary contributions mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 808-823.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:9:p:808-823 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.05.013
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe, 2015. "Meaningful Learning in Weighted Voting Games: An Experiment," Working Papers halshs-01216244, HAL.
    2. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & César Mantilla & Rajiv Sethi, 2015. "Stable Sampling Equilibrium in Common Pool Resource Games," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-19, August.
    3. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe, 2017. "Meaningful learning in weighted voting games: an experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 131-153.
    4. Liu, Jia & Riyanto, Yohanes Eko & Zhang, Ruike, 2017. "How Large Should the “Bullets” be? Dissecting the Role of Unilateral and Tie Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," MPRA Paper 80388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dutcher, E. Glenn & Salmon, Timothy C. & Saral, Krista J., 2015. "Is "Real" Effort More Real?," MPRA Paper 68394, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Giuseppe Danese & Luigi Mittone, 2017. "The circulation of worthless objects aids cooperation. An experiment inspired by the Kula," CEEL Working Papers 1703, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    7. Lugovskyy, Volodymyr & Puzzello, Daniela & Sorensen, Andrea & Walker, James & Williams, Arlington, 2017. "An experimental study of finitely and infinitely repeated linear public goods games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 286-302.
    8. Jasmina Arifovic & John Duffy & Janet Jiang, 2017. "Adoption of a New Payment System: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 171801, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    9. Alejandro Lee-Penagos, 2016. "Modelling Contributions in Public Good Games with Punishment," Discussion Papers 2016-15, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Voluntary contribution mechanism; Other-regarding preferences; Learning; Conditional cooperation; Reciprocity;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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