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The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions

Author

Listed:
  • Nicholas Bardsley

    (CeDEx, School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Peter Moffatt

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

Abstract

In public goods experiments, stochastic choice, censoring, and motivational heterogeneity allow experimentalists to differ over the extent of unselfishness, and whether it is reciprocal or altruistic. These problems are addressed econometrically by estimating a finite mixture model to isolate types, incorporating the two-limit Tobit model with tremble to accommodate censoring and errors. Most subjects act selfishly, but a substantial proportion are reciprocal with altruism playing only a marginal role. Isolating reciprocators enables a test of Sugden’s model of voluntary contributions, which is rejected because they display a selfserving bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Bardsley & Peter Moffatt, 2005. "The Experimetrics of Public Goods: Inferring Motivations from Contributions," Discussion Papers 2005-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2005-09
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Claude Montmarquette, 2008. "L'économétrie des données expérimentales : défis et opportunités," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 182(1), pages 7-17.
    2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon G�chter, 2005. "Heterogeneous social preferences and the dynamics of free riding in public goods," IEW - Working Papers 261, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voluntary contributions; reciprocity; altruism; tobit; finite mixture models; trembles;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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