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Provision of Step-Level Public Goods


  • Ido Erev

    (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

  • Amnon Rapoport

    (University of Arizona)


Groups of five players participated in a social dilemma game in which each player receives a monetary endowment and then chooses whether to contribute it to a monetary public good. The good is provided to all group members if at least three contributions are made; it is not provided, otherwise. Experiment 1 showed that the simultaneous protocol of play—where decisions are made privately and anonymously—is significantly less effective in solving the dilemma than the sequential protocol—where decisions are made sequentially with complete information about previous decisions in the sequence. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and, in addition, showed that the sequential protocol with only information about previous noncooperative choices is significantly more effective in solving the dilemma than the sequential protocol with only information about previous cooperative choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Ido Erev & Amnon Rapoport, 1990. "Provision of Step-Level Public Goods," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 34(3), pages 401-425, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:34:y:1990:i:3:p:401-425
    DOI: 10.1177/0022002790034003002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rapoport, Amnon, 1985. "Provision of Public Goods and the MCS Experimental Paradigm," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 148-155, March.
    2. Hampton, Jean, 1987. "Free-Rider Problems in the Production of Collective Goods," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 245-273, October.
    3. 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.
    4. van de Kragt, Alphons J. C. & Orbell, John M. & Dawes, Robyn M., 1983. "The Minimal Contributing Set as a Solution to Public Goods Problems," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 112-122, March.
    5. Dawes, Robyn M. & Orbell, John M. & Simmons, Randy T. & Van De Kragt, Alphons J. C., 1986. "Organizing Groups for Collective Action," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1171-1185, December.
    6. Rapoport, Amnon & Eshed-Levy, Dalit, 1989. "Provision of step-level public goods: Effects of greed and fear of being gypped," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 325-344, December.
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