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Income Redistribution And Public Good Provision: An Experiment

Listed author(s):
  • JONATHAN MAURICE
  • AGATHE ROUAIX
  • MARC WILLINGER

We experimentally investigate the impact of income redistribution on voluntary contributions by groups of four subjects. We compare equalizing and unequalizing redistribution. Our data are consistent with the neutrality theorem: Redistribution does not affect the amount of voluntarily provided public good at the group level. However, at the individual level, subjects tend to underadjust with respect to the Nash prediction. We also observe an insignificant adjustment asymmetry between the poor and the rich: Subjects who become poorer adjust their contribution by a larger absolute amount than subjects who become richer. Finally, poor subjects tend to overcontribute significantly more than rich subjects.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2013)
Issue (Month): (August)
Pages: 957-975

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Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:54:y:2013:i::p:957-975
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  1. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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  10. Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
  11. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
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  13. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  14. Laury, Susan K & Walker, James M & Williams, Arlington W, 1999. "The Voluntary Provision of a Pure Public Good with Diminishing Marginal Returns," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 139-160, April.
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  16. Andereoni, J., 1988. "Why Free Ride? Strategies And Learning In Public Goods Experiments," Working papers 375, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  17. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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