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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tibor Neugebauer & Maroš Servátka, 2010. "Does Competition Resolve the Free-Rider Problem in the Voluntary Provision of Impure Public Goods? Experimental Evidence," Working Papers in Economics 10/07, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:10/07
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    File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/1007.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; public goods; experiment; voluntary contribution mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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