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Voluntary contributions with imperfect information: An experimental study

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  • M. Levati

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  • Andrea Morone
  • Annamaria Fiore

Abstract

We use a two-person linear voluntary contribution mechanism with stochastic marginal benefits from the public good to examine the effect of imperfect information on contributions levels. To assess prior risk attitudes, individual valuations of several risky prospects are elicited via a second-price auction. We find that limited information about the productivity of the public good lowers significantly initial contributions in comparison to a setting with perfect information, whereas different information conditions do not result in qualitatively different contribution patterns. Moreover, our results show clear evidence of risk aversion, and of a negative relationship between the latter and willingness to cooperate.
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Suggested Citation

  • M. Levati & Andrea Morone & Annamaria Fiore, 2009. "Voluntary contributions with imperfect information: An experimental study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 199-216, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:138:y:2009:i:1:p:199-216
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-008-9346-2
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    Cited by:

    1. Cox, Caleb A., 2015. "Cursed beliefs with common-value public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 52-65.
    2. Lisa Anderson & Beth Freeborn & Jason Hulbert, 2012. "Risk Aversion and Tacit Collusion in a Bertrand Duopoly Experiment," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 40(1), pages 37-50, February.
    3. Brock V Stoddard, 2015. "Probabilistic Production of a Public Good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 37-52.
    4. Florian Artinger & Nadine Fleischhut & M. Vittoria Levati & Jeffrey R. Stevens, 2012. "Cooperation in a Risky Environment: Decisions from Experience in a Stochastic Social Dilemma," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-047, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Béatrice Boulu-Reshef & Samuel H. Brott & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2017. "Does Uncertainty Deter Provision of Public Goods?," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 68(5), pages 785-791.
    6. Annarita Colasante & Aurora García-Gallego & Andrea Morone & Tiziana Temerario, 2017. "The utopia of cooperation: does intra-group competition drive out free riding?," Working Papers 2017/08, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    7. Astrid Dannenberg & Andreas Löschel & Gabriele Paolacci & Christiane Reif & Alessandro Tavoni, 2015. "On the Provision of Public Goods with Probabilistic and Ambiguous Thresholds," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 365-383, July.
    8. François Cochard & Anne Rozan, 2010. "Taxe ambiante : un outil adapté à la lutte contre les coulées de boue ? Une étude expérimentale," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 91(3), pages 296-326.
    9. repec:spr:jeicoo:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11403-016-0172-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Urs Fischbacher & Simeon Schudy & Sabrina Teyssier, 2014. "Heterogeneous reactions to heterogeneity in returns from public goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(1), pages 195-217, June.
    11. Luigi Butera & John A. List, 2017. "An Economic Approach to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science: With an Application to the Public Goods Game," NBER Working Papers 23335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Vincent Théroude & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2017. "Cooperation in a risky world," Working Papers halshs-01443917, HAL.
    13. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-14-01043 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Christoph Engel & Svenja Hippel, 2017. "Experimental Social Planners: Good Natured, but Overly Optimistic," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2017_23, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    15. Jones, Daniel B., 2017. "Too much information? An experiment on communication and cooperation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 29-39.
    16. Kristoffel Grechenig & Andreas Nicklisch & Christian Thöni, 2010. "Punishment despite Reasonable Doubt – A Public Goods Experiment with Uncertainty over Contributions," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_11, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    17. Stoddard, Brock & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington, 2014. "Allocating a voluntarily provided common-property resource: An experimental examination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 141-155.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods experiments; Second-price auctions; Imperfect information; Risk; C72; C92; D80; H41;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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