Do Liberals Play Nice? The Effects of Party and Political Ideology in Public Goods and Trust Games
A popular perception among the American electorate is that Democrats and liberals are more caring and kind-hearted than Republicans and conservatives. This stems in part from the consistent finding in opinion surveys that left-leaning individuals tend to support increased public spending on social programs. In this study, we put conventional wisdom to the test by examining differences in the behavior of liberal versus conservative subjects in two classic experimental settings: the public goods game and the bilateral trust game. First, we test whether Democrats or liberals are more likely to contribute to a group account when such actions are contrary to self-interest. Next, we test whether Democrats and liberals choose to trust strangers or to behave in a trustworthy fashion, despite monetary incentives to the contrary. To address the concern that liberals may not behave more compassionately in the artificially egalitarian setting of the laboratory, we induce inequality among subjects by manipulating the show-up fee paid to all participants. We find that despite conventional wisdom and survey evidence, there is no tendency for adherents of either major party to play nice, nor do self-described liberals have a greater tendency to make contributions in a public goods experiment. However, in keeping with conventional wisdom (but not necessarily national survey results), we find some evidence that self-described liberals behave in a more trusting and trustworthy manner.
|Date of creation:||30 Sep 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Forthcoming in Advances in Applied Microeconomics, Vol. 13: Experimental and Behavioral Economics, John Morgan, ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier, Ltd., 2005.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (757) 221-4311
Fax: (757) 221-2390
Web page: http://www.wm.edu/economics/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, .
"A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys,"
IEW - Working Papers
141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2003. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2003. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory. Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 866, CESifo Group Munich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2003. "A nation-wide laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," Discussion Papers 2003/1, Technische Universität Berlin, School of Economics and Management.
- Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Schupp, Jürgen & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2003. "A Nationwide Laboratory Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioural Experiments into Representative Surveys," CEPR Discussion Papers 3858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & JÃ¼rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2002. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Surveys," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 319, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002.
"Who trusts others?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
- Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2003.
"Inequality, Group Cohesion, and Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis,"
0308, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- Jeffrey Milyo & Jennifer M. Mellor & Lisa Anderson, 2004. "Inequality, Group Cohesion, and Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 0418, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 27 Dec 2004.
- Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003.
"Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
- Bruno Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are political economists selfish and indoctrinated? Evidence from a natural experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00242, The Field Experiments Website.
- Stuart Mestelman & David Feeny, 1988. "Does ideology matter?: Anecdotal experimental evidence on the voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 281-286, June.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000.
4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008.
"Voluntary Provision of Public Goods,"
Handbook of Experimental Economics Results,
- Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-02, McMaster University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Daifeng He)or (Alfredo Pereira)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.