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Estimating the causal effect of beliefs on contributions in repeated public good games

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  • Alexander Smith

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Abstract

We use instrumental variables for estimating the causal effect of beliefs on contributions in repeated public good games. The effect is about half as large as suggested by ordinary least squares. Thus, we present evidence that beliefs have a causal effect on contributions, but also that beliefs are endogenous. We compare the causal, belief-based model of contributions to alternative models based on matching the previous contributions of others and responding to one’s deviation from the average in the previous round. The causal, belief-based model performs well, indicating that beliefs have a central role in determining contributions. Copyright Economic Science Association 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Smith, 2013. "Estimating the causal effect of beliefs on contributions in repeated public good games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 414-425, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:16:y:2013:i:3:p:414-425
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-012-9345-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barron, Kai & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "Confidence and Career Choices: An Experiment," Working Papers in Economics 715, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Smith, Alexander, 2015. "On the nature of pessimism in taking and giving games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 50-57.
    3. Gächter, Simon & Renner, Elke, 2014. "Leaders as Role Models for the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 8580, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Bracht, Jürgen & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Moral emotions and partnership," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 313-326.
    5. Costa-Gomes, Miguel A. & Huck, Steffen & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2014. "Beliefs and actions in the trust game: Creating instrumental variables to estimate the causal effect," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 298-309.
    6. Kölle, Felix & Gächter, Simon & Quercia, Simone, 2014. "The ABC of Cooperation in Voluntary Contribution and Common Pool Extraction Games," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100417, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Chaudhuri, Ananish & Paichayontvijit, Tirnud & Smith, Alexander, 2017. "Belief heterogeneity and contributions decay among conditional cooperators in public goods games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 15-30.
    8. Karl Schlag & James Tremewan & Joël Weele, 2015. "A penny for your thoughts: a survey of methods for eliciting beliefs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 457-490, September.
    9. Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2015. "The role of beliefs, trust, and risk in contributions to a public good," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 236-244.
    10. repec:spr:jesaex:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40881-017-0033-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ganga Shreedhar, Alessandro Tavoni, Carmen Marchiori, 2018. "Monitoring and punishment networks in a common-pool resource dilemma: experimental evidence," GRI Working Papers 292, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    12. Barron, Kai & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "Beliefs and actions: How a shift in confidence affects choices," MPRA Paper 84743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Löschel, Andreas & Sturm, Bodo & Uehleke, Reinhard, 2017. "Revealed preferences for voluntary climate change mitigation when the purely individual perspective is relaxed – evidence from a framed field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 149-160.
    14. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0029-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public good games; Beliefs; Conditional cooperation; Reciprocity; Instrumental variables; C81; C91; C92; H41;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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