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Announcement, Observation, and Honesty in the Voluntary Contributions Game

  • Laurent Denant-Boemont
  • David Masclet
  • Charles Noussair

In this paper, we study the effect of announcement and observation on voluntary public good provision. We find that requiring individuals to make a non-binding prior public announcement about their contribution level has no significant effect on average contributions. Making public each individual's contribution decision also has no significant impact on contribution levels. However, requiring announcements, in conjunction with making contribution decisions public, has a significantly positive effect on the average level of contributions. The treatments, in which announcements were elicited, permit the truthfulness of subjects' announcements to be measured. We find that high contributors are more honest, the truthfulness of others is reciprocated with greater honesty, and announcements are more honest when contribution decisions are observable.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0509.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0509
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  8. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  9. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
  10. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
  11. Khalil, Elias L., 2004. "What is altruism?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 97-123, February.
  12. Louis Putterman & Christopher M. Anderson, 2003. "Do Non-strategic Sanctions Obey the Law of Demand? The Demand for Punishment in the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Working Papers 2003-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
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