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Divided Loyalties or Conditional Cooperation? An experimental study of contributions to multiple public goods

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew W. McCarter

    () (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

  • Anya C. Samak

    (School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

Abstract

It is common in organizational life to be simultaneously involved in multiple collective actions. These collective actions may be modeled using public good dilemmas. The developing social dilemma literature has two perspectives – the “divided loyalties” and “conditional cooperation” perspectives – that give opposite predictions about how individuals will behave when they simultaneously play two identical public good games. The current paper creates consensus between these social dilemma perspectives by examining cooperative behavior of participants interacting in two public good games with either different or the same group members. In each round, individuals have a common budget constraint across the two games. In support of the conditional cooperator’s perspective of social dilemmas, we find that playing two games with different, rather than same, group members increases overall contributions. Over the course of the experiment, participants playing two games with different group members shift their contributions significantly more often toward more cooperative public good games than participants playing with the same group members.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew W. McCarter & Anya C. Samak & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Divided Loyalties or Conditional Cooperation? An experimental study of contributions to multiple public goods," Working Papers 13-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:13-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Justin Krieg & Anya Samek, 2014. "When Charities Compete: A Laboratory Experiment with Simultaneous Public Goods," Artefactual Field Experiments 00442, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Pablo Branas-Garza & Jaromir Kovarik & Levent Neyse, 2013. "Second-to-Fourth Digit Ratio has a Non-Monotonic Impact on Altruism," Working Papers 13-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cooperation; conditional cooperation; public good; experiments; group composition;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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