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An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games

  • Maria Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Tibor Neugebauer

    ()

We conducted a laboratory study with a public goods game in which contributions are not submitted all at once but incrementally as coordinated in real time by a clock. Individuals press a button as soon as the clock equals their willingness to contribute. This public goods institution exploits the idea that people are conditionally cooperative (i.e., they match at least the minimum contribution of the others) rather than opportunistic in order to implement the Pareto-optimal outcome. By providing information about the point at which subjects stopped further contributions we found that the decision of a subject to stop contributing induced an immediate reaction of the other group members. As a consequence, the individual contributions were closely related to each other and a fairer income distribution was achieved than in the standard case in which only aggregated information was supplied after each period.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2001-04.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2001-04
Note: The authors would like to thank seminar participants at Amsterdam, Berlin, Lisbon, Paris, Turin, York and especially Werner Güth, John Bone, Rachel Croson and Frans van Winden for valuable comments. Financial support from the EU-TMR Research Network ENDEAR (FMRX-CT98-0238) is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  3. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  4. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  5. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  6. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  7. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  8. Rachel T. A. Croson, 2007. "Theories Of Commitment, Altruism And Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 199-216, 04.
  9. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1999. "Strategic behavior in public good games: when partners drift apart," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 35-41, January.
  10. Selten, Reinhard & Joachim Buchta, 1994. "Experimental Sealed Bid First Price Auctions with Directly Observed Bid Functions," Discussion Paper Serie B 270, University of Bonn, Germany.
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