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Context Effects in a Negatively Framed Social Dilemma Experiment

Author

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  • Kent Messer

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  • Jordan Suter
  • Jubo Yan

Abstract

A number of studies of the positively-framed voluntary contribution mechanism (VCM) public goods game have examined the role of context on participant behavior. Relatively little attention, however, has been given to the effects of context in negatively-framed VCM games even though this setting is relevant to a wide array of real world challenges, such as common pool resource use and pollution externalities. This study uses a carefully-controlled laboratory experiment to investigate the degree to which the context in which decisions are made influences decision making in a negatively-framed VCM laboratory experiment. The context treatments that we evaluate vary communication, voting, and the status quo of the initial endowment. Results indicate that providing groups the opportunity to communicate and vote significantly reduces choices that impose external costs. Importantly, the pro-social effects of communication and voting are strongest when the status quo endowment is the private account, which generates costs on other participants. This result suggests that the effect of the status quo endowment is a function of whether the social dilemma is framed positively or negatively when communication between participants is allowed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Kent Messer & Jordan Suter & Jubo Yan, 2013. "Context Effects in a Negatively Framed Social Dilemma Experiment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(3), pages 387-405, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:55:y:2013:i:3:p:387-405
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9631-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Swallow, Stephen K., 2013. "Demand-side Value for Ecosystem Services and Implications for Innovative Markets: Experimental Perspectives on the Possibility of Private Markets for Public Goods," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 33-56, April.
    2. le Sage, Sander & van der Heijden, Eline, 2015. "The Effect of Voting on Contributions in a Public Goods Game," Discussion Paper 2015-039, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Berthomé, Guy-El-Karim & Thomas, Alban, 2017. "A Context-based Procedure for Assessing Participatory Schemes in Environmental Planning," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 113-123.
    4. Ansink, Erik & Bouma, Jetske, 2013. "Framed field experiments with heterogeneous frame connotation," MPRA Paper 43975, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Zarghamee, Homa S. & Messer, Kent D. & Fooks, Jacob R. & Schulze, William D. & Wu, Shang & Yan, Jubo, 2017. "Nudging charitable giving: Three field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 137-149.
    6. Janusch, Nicholas & Palm-Forster, Leah H. & Messer, Kent D. & Ferraro, Paul J., 2017. "Behavioral Insights for Agri-Environmental Program and Policy Design," 2018 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 5-7, 2018, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 266299, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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