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Exogenous Targeting Instruments under Differing Information Conditions

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  • John Spraggon

    () (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

This paper tests the ability of an exogenous targeting instrument to induce compliance when the principal cannot observe the actions of individual agents. A number of papers show that although these instruments are able to induce groups to the target outcome, they are not able to induce individuals to make socially optimal decisions in a number of different controlled laboratory experiments. This study investigates whether the information individuals have about others’ payoffs affects how they make their decisions in this environment. Ledyard (1995) suggests that when subjects have less information in public goods experiments they are more likely to choose the Nash equilibrium decision. However, as he points out, this effect differs between groups with homogeneous and heterogeneous payoff functions. The results show that reducing information reduces efficiency although there are no significant effects on the absolute level of group decisions at the aggregate level. At the individual level, reducing the information players have complicates the environment resulting in subjects choosing either lower decision numbers or more randomly. Moreover, these effects seem to be more serious for subjects whose Nash decisions are on the boundary of the decision space.

Suggested Citation

  • John Spraggon, 2007. "Exogenous Targeting Instruments under Differing Information Conditions," Working Papers 2007-10, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2007-10
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    File URL: http://courses.umass.edu/resec/workingpapers/documents/ResEcWorkingPaper2007-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Spraggon, John, 2002. "Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 427-456, June.
    2. Rondeau, Daniel & D. Schulze, William & Poe, Gregory L., 1999. "Voluntary revelation of the demand for public goods using a provision point mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 455-470, June.
    3. Marks, Melanie B & Croson, Rachel T A, 1999. "The Effect of Incomplete Information in a Threshold Public Goods Experiment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 103-118, April.
    4. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 2002. "The private provision of public goods: tests of a provision point mechanism for funding green power programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 131-155, February.
    5. J. Spraggon, 2004. "Individual Decision Making in a Negative Externality Experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(3), pages 249-269, October.
    6. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    7. Christian A. Vossler & Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Kathleen Segerson, 2006. "Communication and Incentive Mechanisms Based on Group Performance: An Experimental Study of Nonpoint Pollution Control," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 599-613, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaston Giordana & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Regulatory instruments for monitoring ambient pollution," Chapters,in: Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 7, pages 193-232 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral Hazard in Groups; Exogenous Targeting Instruments; Experiments; Information;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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