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Reciprocity, Matching and Conditional Cooperation in Two Public Goods Games

Previous experimental and empirical evidence has identified social preferences in the voluntary provision of public goods. A number of competing models of such preferences have been proposed. We provide evidence for one model of behavior in these games, reciprocity (or matching, or conditional cooperation). Consistent with previous research, we find that participants in the voluntary contribution mechanism attempt to match the contributions of others in their group. We also examine participants in a related game with different equilibria, the weakest-link mechanism. Here, in contrast, participants contribute so as to match the minimum contribution of others in their group.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2004/32.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2004_32
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Camerer, Colin F. & Knez, Marc & Weber, Roberto A., 1996. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and Weak Link Coordination Games," Working Papers 970, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910, August.
  5. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
  6. Andreoni,J. & Croson,R., 1998. "Partners versus strangers : random rematching in public goods experiments," Working papers 11, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  8. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  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. Harrison, Glenn W & Hirshleifer, Jack, 1989. "An Experimental Evaluation of Weakest Link/Best Shot Models of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 201-25, February.
  12. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
  15. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  16. Rachel T. A. Croson, 2007. "Theories Of Commitment, Altruism And Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 199-216, 04.
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