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An exploration of the robustness of alternative laboratory methodologies: Matching funds and the provision of public goods

Author

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  • Baker, Ronald J.
  • Walker, James M.
  • Williams, Arlington W.

Abstract

The voluntary provision of a pure public good is studied in the presence of an anonymous external donor. New data generated using experimental procedures employing both extra-credit and cash incentives, as well as asynchronous access to real-time decision rounds lasting several days, are compared to previous data generated using traditional cash-only, synchronous-access laboratory procedures. The effect on resource allocations to the public good of introducing external matching funds is examined in two different settings, lump-sum matching and one-to-one matching. The new data confirm the robustness of results previously reported in Baker et al. (2009) to the change in laboratory procedures and incentives. The new data are then used to extend the parameter space in which the two matching mechanisms are studied, including: varying within-round information regarding the current level of public-good allocations and varying group size from four to twenty group members. Allocations in lump-sum matching are no worse, and sometimes better, than one-to-one matching in these new treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • Baker, Ronald J. & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 2011. "An exploration of the robustness of alternative laboratory methodologies: Matching funds and the provision of public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 763-774.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:763-774
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.08.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. M Isaac & J. Walker & A. Williams, 2010. "Group Size and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence Utilizing Very Large Groups," Levine's Working Paper Archive 11, David K. Levine.
    2. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-261, April.
    3. repec:feb:artefa:0105 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    5. John List, 2008. "Introduction to field experiments in economics with applications to the economics of charity," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 203-212, September.
    6. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
    7. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
    8. Yan Chen & F. Maxwell Harper & Joseph Konstan & Sherry Xin Li, 2010. "Social Comparisons and Contributions to Online Communities: A Field Experiment on MovieLens," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1358-1398, September.
    9. Baker II, Ronald J. & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 2009. "Matching contributions and the voluntary provision of a pure public good: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 122-134, May.
    10. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, April.
    11. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-1483, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Tucker & Shuze Ding & Volodymyr Lugovskyy & Daniela Puzzello & Arlington Williams, 2017. "Cash versus Extra-Credit Incentives in Experimental Asset Markets," Working Papers in Economics 17/21, University of Waikato.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiments; Public goods; Matching;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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