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The value of non-binding announcements in public goods experiments: Some theory and experimental evidence

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  • Berlemann, Michael
  • Dittrich, Marcus
  • Markwardt, Gunther

Abstract

The paper presents a simple theoretical framework to explain the influence of the possibility to make non-binding announcements on investment behaviour in public goods settings. Our model builds on the idea that voluntary contributions to the supply of a public good might be motivated by some form of joy of giving. We show that the possibility to make non-binding announcements has a positive effect on cooperative behaviour, especially if individual announcements and factual investments are communicated to the players after each round. We also show that this result holds true even though the players have an incentive to overstate their true degrees of cooperativeness. Altogether, our theoretical considerations point in the direction that revealing as much information on individual intentions and factual behaviour as possible enhances cooperative behaviour. These conclusions are broadly confirmed by the results of a series of classroom experiments we present.

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  • Berlemann, Michael & Dittrich, Marcus & Markwardt, Gunther, 2009. "The value of non-binding announcements in public goods experiments: Some theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 421-428, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:421-428
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Trust, reciprocity and altruism: An impossible addition," wp.comunite 0082, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    2. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2013. "Do Explicit Reasons Make Legal Intervention More Effective? An Experimental Study," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Mar 2018.
    3. Thum, Marcel & Auerswald, Heike & Schmidt, Carsten & Torsvik, Gaute, 2014. "Teams Contribute More and Punish Less," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100537, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods Announcements Joy of giving Experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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