Announcement, Observation, and Honesty in the Voluntary Contributions Game
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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