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Continuous Time and Communication in a Public-goods Experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Charness, Gary
  • Oprea, Ryan
  • Friedman, Dan

We investigate the nature of continuous-time strategic interactions in public-goodsgames. In one set of treatments, four subjects make contribution decisions in continuous timewhile in another they make them only at discrete points of time. The effect of continuous timeis muted in public-goods games compared to simpler social dilemmas; the data suggest thatwidespread coordination problems are to blame. With a rich communication protocol, thesecoordination problems disappear and the median subject contributes fully to the public good,with no time decay. At the median, the same communication protocol is less than half aseffective in discrete time.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt5404914p.

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Date of creation: 04 Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt5404914p
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  1. Guth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Sutter, Matthias & van der Heijden, Eline, 2007. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1023-1042, June.
  2. Potters, J.J.M. & Sefton, M. & Vesterlund, L., 2005. "After you - endogenous sequencing in voluntary contribution games," Other publications TiSEM db491f52-df7b-43dd-ab2b-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  3. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  4. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 0036, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
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  6. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  7. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Lise Vesterlund & John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2004. "Giving Little by Little: Dynamic Voluntary Contribution Games," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 402, Econometric Society.
  9. Bigoni, Maria & Casari, Marco & Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2013. "Time Horizon and Cooperation in Continuous Time," Research Papers 2088r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  10. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  11. Dorsey, Robert E, 1992. "The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism with Real Time Revisions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 261-282, April.
  12. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  13. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
  14. Laurent Denant‐Boemont & David Masclet & Charles Noussair, 2011. "Announcement, Observation And Honesty In The Voluntary Contributions Game," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 207-228, 05.
  15. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2002. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Working Papers 2002-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  16. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Self-Serving Cheap Talk: A Test Of Aumann's Conjecture," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 177-194, November.
  17. Simon, Leo K. & Stinchcombe, Maxwell B., 1987. "Extensive From Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt03x115sh, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  18. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2010. "Bare promises: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 281-283, May.
  19. 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.
  20. Charness, Gary & Yang, Chun-Lei, 2014. "Starting small toward voluntary formation of efficient large groups in public goods provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 119-132.
  21. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
  22. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  23. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  24. Hoggatt, Austin C & Friedman, James W & Gill, Shlomo, 1976. "Price Signaling in Experimental Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 261-266, May.
  25. Ryan Oprea & Keith Henwood & Daniel Friedman, 2010. "Separating the Hawks from the Doves: Evidence from Continuous Time Laboratory Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 3129, CESifo Group Munich.
  26. Levy, David M. & Padgitt, Kail & Peart, Sandra J. & Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte, 2011. "Leadership, cheap talk and really cheap talk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 40-52, January.
  27. Ahn, T.K. & Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C., 2009. "Coming and going: Experiments on endogenous group sizes for excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 336-351, February.
  28. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1999. "Strategic behavior in public good games: when partners drift apart," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 35-41, January.
  29. Daniel Friedman & Ryan Oprea, 2012. "A Continuous Dilemma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 337-363, February.
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