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Effect of an audience in public goods provision

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  • Emel Filiz-Ozbay
  • Erkut Ozbay

Abstract

This paper investigates a novel public goods game where contributions to the public goods require effort that is observable. When the players are observed, they exert more effort to contribute to the public goods, and free-riding diminishes significantly compared to the no observer case. These effects are absent when no effort is required in order to contribute to the public goods. Furthermore, in the presence of an audience, the contributions to the public goods do not diminish when the game is repeated in the effort-required environment. Being observed does not affect the performance of the players if there is no strategic aspect of the game, in other words, when they play a private goods game. These results indicate that an individual wants to avoid appearing lazy when her effort helps the society. Copyright Economic Science Association 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Ozbay, 2014. "Effect of an audience in public goods provision," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(2), pages 200-214, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:2:p:200-214
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-013-9363-y
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    2. Bassanini, Andrea & Caroli, Eve & Fontaine, François & Rebérioux, Antoine, 2021. "Escaping social pressure: Fixed-term contracts in multi-establishment firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 697-715.
    3. Andrea Bassanini & Giorgio Brunello & Eve Caroli, 2017. "Not in My Community: Social Pressure and the Geography of Dismissals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 429-483.
    4. Andreoni, James & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2021. "Time inconsistent charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    5. Tim Klopries, 2018. "Discussion of “Working from Home—What is the Effect on Employees’ Effort?”," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 70(1), pages 57-62, February.
    6. Jan Philipp Krügel & Nicola Maaser, 2020. "Cooperation and Norm-Enforcement under Impartial vs. Competitive Sanctions," Economics Working Papers 2020-15, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    7. Radzvilavicius, Arunas, 2021. "Tolerant moral judgment drives evolution of collective action," OSF Preprints neq9g, Center for Open Science.
    8. Jonathan Levy, 2021. "Mutual monitoring, approval motivation and fostering cooperation in teams," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 74-87, September.
    9. Simone Haeckl & Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2018. "Work Motivation and Teams," Discussion Papers 18-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    10. Kessler, Judd B. & Low, Corinne & Singhal, Monica, 2021. "Social policy instruments and the compliance environment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 248-267.
    11. Sueur, Cédric & Piermattéo, Anthony & Pelé, Marie, 2021. "Eye image effect in the context of pedestrian safety: a French questionnaire study," OSF Preprints d6w7v, Center for Open Science.
    12. Michalis Drouvelis & Benjamin M. Marx, 2021. "Dimensions of donation preferences: the structure of peer and income effects," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 274-302, March.
    13. Bracha, Anat & Vesterlund, Lise, 2017. "Mixed signals: Charity reporting when donations signal generosity and income," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 24-42.
    14. Tianshu Sun & Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Group Formation in Prosocial Activities: A Large Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Grimm, Stefan, 2018. "Show What You Risk - Norms for Risk Taking," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 119, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    16. Andersson, Per A. & Erlandsson, Arvid & Västfjäll, Daniel & Tinghög, Gustav, 2020. "Prosocial and moral behavior under decision reveal in a public environment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Observable effort; Experiment; Social image; A13; C92; D03; D64;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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