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The Impact of Inequality on Cooperation: An Experimental Study

Listed author(s):
  • Annarita COLASANTE

    ()

    (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)

  • Alberto RUSSO

    ()

    (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)

This paper analyzes the impact of inequality in the distribution of endowments on contributions. We conduct a lab experiment using the well-known Public Good Game to test the relation between inequality and contribution to a public fund. We introduce the possibility to choose among three different redistribution rules: equidistribution, proportional to contribution and progressive to endowment. This novelty, combined with a payoff function that depends also on previous period behavior, allows us to verify the hypothesis that players show inequity averse preferences. Results show that inequality has a negative impact on individual contribution. Since inequality is decreasing during repetitions, we deduce that players show inequity averse preferences.

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File URL: http://docs.dises.univpm.it/web/quaderni/pdf/401.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 401.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: May 2014
Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:401
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  3. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
  4. Balafoutas, Loukas & Kocher, Martin G. & Putterman, Louis & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Equality, equity and incentives: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 32-51.
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  9. Gaechter, S. & Mengel, F. & Tsakas, E. & Vostroknutov, A., 2013. "Growth and inequality in public good games," Research Memorandum 070, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  10. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  11. Cherry, Todd L. & Kroll, Stephan & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "The impact of endowment heterogeneity and origin on public good contributions: evidence from the lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 357-365, July.
  12. Andre Hofmeyr & Justine Burns & Martine Visser, 2007. "Income Inequality, Reciprocity And Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(3), pages 508-520, 09.
  13. Kenneth Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Robert Moir & R. Muller, 1999. "Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 5-30, August.
  14. Daniel Balliet, 2010. "Communication and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: A Meta-Analytic Review," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(1), pages 39-57, February.
  15. Raymond Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2007. "Individual Preferences for Giving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1858-1876, December.
  16. Cherry, Todd L. & Shogren, Jason F., 2008. "Self-interest, sympathy and the origin of endowments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 69-72, October.
  17. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
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