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Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism

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  • Isaac, R Mark
  • Walker, James M

Abstract

The authors experimentally examine the role of active communication as a mechanism for improving economic efficiency in a voluntary-contribution, public-goods environment. With no communication, this environment has been shown to induce significant suboptimality, approaching zero contributions with iteration of the decision environment. Communication is shown to significantly improve group optimality. The authors examine the robustness of their results in increasingly complex environments and in environments in which there has been a history of communication, but in which active communication is no longer available. Copyright 1988 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:26:y:1988:i:4:p:585-608
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