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Does Competition Resolve the Free-Rider Problem in the Voluntary Provision of Impure Public Goods? Experimental Evidence

In this paper we assume that a public project creates different payoffs to different contributors. Within this environment we study two institutions: Rank Order Voluntary Contribution Mechanism (Rank-Order-VCM) and Random Order Voluntary Contribution Mechanism (Random-Order-VCM). In Rank-Order-VCM individuals compete with their observable contributions towards a public project for a larger share of the payoff that the project generates while in Random-Order-VCM the shares are assigned randomly. We observe that competition outweighs incentives to free-ride and find that Random-Rank-VCM elicits median contributions equal to the full endowment throughout the whole experiment, including the last period. In Random-Rank-VCM the contributions are significantly lower and decline over time.

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File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/1007.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 10/07.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 17 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:10/07
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  4. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and non Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00175251, HAL.
  5. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud & Peter Martinsson & Gianandrea Staffiero, 2005. "Ostracism and the Provision of a Public Good, Experimental Evidence," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  6. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
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  13. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
  14. T. K. Ahn & R. Mark Isaac & Timothy C. Salmon, 2008. "Endogenous Group Formation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 171-194, 04.
  15. Tibor Neugebauer & Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatas & Juan A. Lacomba, 2012. "Vertically Splitting a Firm: Promotion and Demotion in a Team Production Experiment," LSF Research Working Paper Series 12-3, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
  16. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  17. Isaac, R. Mark & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., . "Public Goods Provision in an Experimental Environment," Working Papers 428, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  18. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
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  21. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
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