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Free Riding and Collective Action: An Experiment in Public Microeconomics

Author

Listed:
  • Friedrich Schneider
  • Werner W. Pommerehne

Abstract

The well-known free-rider hypothesis is examined experimentally to see (i) whether individuals behave systematically as free riders when systematic incentives to do so are created, and (ii) the extent to which free riding actually occurs. Though the experiment's participants behaved in accordance with the hypothesis, the quantitative extent to which such behavior occurred was rather modest. From this it may be concluded that the free-rider hypothesis as presently stated indicates an incompleteness in standard public microeconomics rather than providing a description of the real world.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrich Schneider & Werner W. Pommerehne, 1981. "Free Riding and Collective Action: An Experiment in Public Microeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 689-704.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:96:y:1981:i:4:p:689-704.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/1880748
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Trine Hansen, 1997. "The Willingness-to-Pay for the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen as a Public Good," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 21(1), pages 1-28, March.
    2. Lanse Minkler & Thomas Miceli, 2004. "Lying, Integrity, and Cooperation," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(1), pages 27-50.
    3. Sánchez, Isabel, 1991. "La provision voluntaria de bienes publicos: Resultados Experimentales," DE - Documentos de Trabajo. Economía. DE 3000, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    4. Pommerehne, Werner W. & Frey, Bruno S., 1992. "The effects of tax administration on tax morale," Discussion Papers, Series II 191, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    5. Alboth, Dirk & Lerner, Anat & Shalev, Jonathan, 2001. " Profit Maximizing in Auctions of Public Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 501-525.
    6. ALBOTH, Dirk & LERNER, Anat & SHALEV, Jonathan, 1997. "Auctioning public goods to groups of aghents," CORE Discussion Papers 1997077, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Harrison, Glenn W & Hirshleifer, Jack, 1989. "An Experimental Evaluation of Weakest Link/Best Shot Models of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 201-225, February.
    8. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in experimental economics: A historical and quantitative approach focused on public good game experiments," Working Papers halshs-01651080, HAL.
    9. Vincent Anesi, 2009. "Moral hazard and free riding in collective action," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(2), pages 197-219, February.
    10. Anders Poulsen & Gert Svendsen, 2005. "Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 171-196, April.
    11. Michael Ahlheim & Friedrich Schneider, 2002. "Allowing for Household Preferences in Emission Trading – A Contribution to the Climate Policy Debate," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(4), pages 317-342, April.
    12. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in experimental economics: A historical and quantitative approach focused on public good game experiments," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01651080, HAL.
    13. Minkler, Lanse, 2004. "Shirking and motivations in firms: survey evidence on worker attitudes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 863-884, June.
    14. Bonetti, Shane, 1998. "Experimental economics and deception," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 377-395, June.
    15. Ledyard, John O., "undated". "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Working Papers 861, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    16. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:103-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Chen, Cuicui & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2018. "Collective action in an asymmetric world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 103-112.
    18. Hummel Jeffrey Rogers & Lavoie Don, 1994. "National Defense And The Public-Goods Problem," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2-3), pages 1-26, June.
    19. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in Experimental Economics: A Historical and Quantitative Approach Focused on Public Good Game Experiments," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-21, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    20. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00499 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Thomas McCaleb & Richard Wagner, 1985. "The experimental search for free riders: Some reflections and observations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 479-490, January.
    22. Sarkhel, Prasenjit, 2015. "Flood risk, land use and private participation in embankment maintenance in Indian Sundarbans," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 272-284.
    23. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
    24. D. Kenyon, 1984. "Preference revelation and supply response in the arena of local government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 147-160, January.

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