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Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis

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  • Marc Willinger

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  • Anthony Ziegelmeyer

Abstract

We present the results of an experiment on voluntary contributions to a public good with a unique dominant strategy equilibrium in the interior of the strategy space. The treatment variable is the equilibrium contribution level. By increasing the equilibrium contribution level, we reduce the “strength” of the social dilemma. Though we observe that the average level of contribution rises with the equilibrium contribution level, the average rate of over-contribution is not affected in a systematic way. Over-contribution is statistically significant only at the lower level of equilibrium contribution but not at the higher levels. We show that the Anderson et al. (1998, Journal of Public Economics. 70, 297–323) logit equilibrium model which combines altruism and decision errors fits quite well our laboratory data. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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  • Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:4:y:2001:i:2:p:131-144 DOI: 10.1023/A:1011433904265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Demuynck, 2015. "Statistical inference for measures of predictive success," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 689-699.
    2. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Sequential versus simultaneous contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence," Discussion Papers 2009-07, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    3. Gaston Giordana & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Regulatory instruments for monitoring ambient pollution," Chapters,in: Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 7, pages 193-232 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Ralph-C. Bayer & Elke Renner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2013. "Confusion and learning in the voluntary contributions game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 478-496, December.
    5. Fochmann, Martin & Jahnke, Bjoern & Wagener, Andreas, 2016. "Does the Reliability of Institutions Affect Public Good Contributions? Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-570, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Hichri, Walid, 2004. "Interior Collective Optimum in a Volontary Contribution to a Public-Goods Game : An Experimental Approach," MPRA Paper 7883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Francois Cochard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Kene Boun My, 2004. "Regulation of Nonpoint Emissions under Limited Information: A Stress Experimental Test of the Ambient Tax Mechanism," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-33, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    8. Nicholas Bardsley & Peter Moffatt, 2007. "The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 161-193.
    9. Walid Hichri, 2005. "The individual behaviour in a public goods game," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer;International Association of Public and Non-Profit Marketing, pages 59-71.
    10. van der Pol, Thomas & Weikard, Hans-Peter & van Ierland, Ekko, 2012. "Can altruism stabilise international climate agreements?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 112-120.
    11. Jonathan Maurice & Agathe Rouaix & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Income Redistribution And Public Good Provision: An Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 957-975, August.
    12. Zoltan J. Acs & David Audretsch & Ronnie J. Phillips & Sameeksha Desai, 2007. "The Entrepreneurship-Philanthropy Nexus: Nonmarket Source of American Entrepreneurial Capitalism," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2007-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    13. Walid Hichri, 2006. "Individual strategies and aggregate behavior in a public-goods experiment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(15), pages 969-973.
    14. Walid Hichri, 2005. "The individual behaviour in a public goods game," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer;International Association of Public and Non-Profit Marketing, pages 59-71.
    15. Breitmoser, Yves, 2010. "Structural modeling of altruistic giving," MPRA Paper 24262, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Claudia Keser & Jean-Louis Rullière & Marie Claire Villeval, 2004. "Le paradoxe de l'adhésion syndicale : une approche expérimentale en termes de jeu de bien public," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, pages 81-92.
    17. Marion Dupoux, 2017. "Beyond perfect substitutability in public good games: heterogeneous structures of preferences," Working Papers 2017.21, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    18. Takehisa Kumakawa & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2015. "Isolating and identifying motivations: A voluntary contribution mechanism experiment with interior Nash equilibria," Working Papers SDES-2015-16, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Mar 2015.
    19. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud & Jose Apesteguia, 2004. "The Role of Rivalry. Public Goods versus Common-Pool Resources," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2004_2, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    20. Matthew McGinty & Garrett Milam, 2013. "Public goods provision by asymmetric agents: experimental evidence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(4), pages 1159-1177, April.
    21. Chun-Hung Kuo & Hiroaki Miyamoto, 2014. "Fiscal Stimulus and Unemployment Dynamics," Working Papers EMS_2014_05, Research Institute, International University of Japan.

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