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Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications

  • Simon Gaechter

    (University of Nottingham)

This paper discusses the empirical evidence from lab and field experiments on voluntary cooperation. We present the most important findings from numerous public goods experiments and argue that conditional cooperation (contributions are conditional on other people’s contribution) is a primary motivation for many people to (not) contribute to the public good. We also discuss four experiments that test implications of conditional cooperation. We see these experiments as four behavioral models that can help interpreting naturally occurring phenomena, like charitable giving, work morale, and tax evasion. We conclude by discussing some policy implications of the observed behavioral regularities.

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Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2006-03.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2006-03
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