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Cooperative choice and its framing effect under threshold uncertainty in a provision point mechanism

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  • Koji Kotani

    ()

  • Kenta Tanaka

    ()

  • Shunsuke Managi

    ()

Abstract

This paper explores how threshold uncertainty affects cooperative behaviors in the provision of public goods and the prevention of public bads. The following facts motivate our study. First, environmental (resource) problems are either framed as public bads prevention or public goods provision. Second, the occurrence of these problems is characterized by thresholds that are interchangeably represented as “nonconvexity,” “bifurcation,” “bi-stability,” or “catastrophes.” Third, the threshold location is mostly unknown. We employ a provision point mechanism with threshold uncertainty and analyze the responses of cooperative behaviors to uncertainty and to the framing for each type of social preferences categorized by a value orientation test. We find that aggregate framing effects are negligible, although the response to the frame is the opposite depending on the type of social preferences. “Cooperative” subjects become more cooperative in negative frames than in positive frames, whereas “individualistic” subjects are less cooperative in negative frames than in positive ones. This finding implies that the insignificance of aggregate framing effects arises from behavioral asymmetry. We also find that the percentage of cooperative choices non-monotonically varies with the degree of threshold uncertainty, irrespective of framing and value orientation. Specifically, the degree of cooperation is highest at intermediate levels of threshold uncertainty and decreases as the uncertainty becomes sufficiently large. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Koji Kotani & Kenta Tanaka & Shunsuke Managi, 2014. "Cooperative choice and its framing effect under threshold uncertainty in a provision point mechanism," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 329-353, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:15:y:2014:i:4:p:329-353
    DOI: 10.1007/s10101-014-0147-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenta Tanaka & Keisaku Higashida & Arvin Vista & Anton Setyo Nugroho & Budi Muhamad Ruslan, 2016. "Do resource depletion experiences affect social cooperative preferences? Analysis using field experimental data on fishers in the Philippines and Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 143, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2016.
    2. Dannenberg, Astrid & Löschel, Andreas & Paolacci, Gabriele & Reif, Christiane & Tavoni, Alessandro, 2011. "Coordination under threshold uncertainty in a public goods game," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-065, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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