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Heterogeneous Preferences and Collective Action

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  • Ahn, T K
  • Ostrom, Elinor
  • Walker, James M

Abstract

In recent years, scholars have turned to alternative representations of utility to capture motivational heterogeneity across individuals. In the research reported here, we examine two models of heterogeneous utility--linear-altruism and inequity-aversion--in the context of two-person, social dilemma games. Empirical tests are conducted drawing on data from experiments and surveys. We find that the model of inequity-aversion accounts for a substantial proportion of the preference types and behavior that are not explained by the standard model of self-interested preferences. In contrast, the altruism model does not provide a significant increase in explanatory power over the inequity-aversion model. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Ahn, T K & Ostrom, Elinor & Walker, James M, 2003. "Heterogeneous Preferences and Collective Action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 295-314, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:117:y:2003:i:3-4:p:295-314
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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatás & Juan Lacomba & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Splitting leagues: promotion and demotion in contribution-based regrouping experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 426-441, September.
    2. Alin Halimatussadiah & Budy P. Resosudarmo & Diah Widyawati, 2014. "Social Capital to Induce a Contribution to Environmental Collective Action in Indonesia: An Experimental Method," Departmental Working Papers 2014-03, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    3. Ones, Umut & Putterman, Louis, 2007. "The ecology of collective action: A public goods and sanctions experiment with controlled group formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 495-521, April.
    4. Bergh, Andreas, 2008. "A critical note on the theory of inequity aversion," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1789-1796, October.
    5. T. Ahn & Myungsuk Lee & Lore Ruttan & James Walker, 2007. "Asymmetric payoffs in simultaneous and sequential prisoner’s dilemma games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 353-366, September.
    6. Sabrina Teyssier, 2012. "Inequity and risk aversion in sequential public good games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 91-119, April.
    7. Anderies, John M. & Janssen, Marco A. & Lee, Allen & Wasserman, Hannah, 2013. "Environmental variability and collective action: Experimental insights from an irrigation game," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 166-176.
    8. Beyene, Fekadu & Hagedorn, Konrad, 2006. "Examining Collective Action among Mieso Agropastoralists of Eastern Ethiopia," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25797, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
    10. Angela Oliveira & Rachel Croson & Catherine Eckel, 2015. "One bad apple? Heterogeneity and information in public good provision," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 116-135, March.
    11. Giangiacomo Bravo, 2007. "Imitation and Cooperation in Different Helping Games," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(1), pages 1-8.
    12. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Francesca Bortolami & Luigi Mittone, 2009. "Does Participating in a Collective Decision Affect the Levels of Contributions Provided? An Experimental Investigation," CEEL Working Papers 0902, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    14. Banuri, Sheheryar & Lucas, Pablo & de Oliveira, Angela C. M., 2012. "The Effects of Group Composition and Fractionalization in a Public Goods Game: An Agent-Based Simulation," WIDER Working Paper Series 059, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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