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Privately Contributing to Public Goods over Time - An Experimental Study -


  • Werner Güth


  • Maria Vittoria Levati


  • Andreas Stiehler



Similar to Levati and Neugebauer (2001), a clock is used by which participants can vary their individual contributions for voluntarily providing a public good. As time goes by, participants either in(de)crease their contribution gradually or keep it constant. Groups of two poorly and two richly endowed participants encounter repeatedly the weakest link-, the usual average contribution- and the best shot-technology of public good provision in a within subject-design. Some striking findings are that the weakest link-technology fares much better than the other two technologies in terms of welfare, and that the willingness of people to voluntarily contribute is greatly a®ected by the (increasing or decreasing) clock mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & Maria Vittoria Levati & Andreas Stiehler, "undated". "Privately Contributing to Public Goods over Time - An Experimental Study -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, June.
    2. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
    3. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
    4. 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, April.
    5. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
    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. 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.
    8. Dorsey, Robert E, 1992. "The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism with Real Time Revisions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 261-282, April.
    9. Burlando, Roberto & Hey, John D., 1997. "Do Anglo-Saxons free-ride more?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 41-60, April.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pavel Diev & Walid Hichri, 2008. "Dynamic voluntary contributions to a discrete public good: Experimental evidence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(23), pages 1-11.
    2. repec:pit:wpaper:232 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Max Albert & Werner Güth & Erich Kirchler & Boris Maciejovsky, 2007. "Are we nice(r) to nice(r) people?—An experimental analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(1), pages 53-69, March.
    4. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack & Vesterlund, Lise, 2007. "Giving little by little: Dynamic voluntary contribution games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1708-1730, September.
    5. M. Vittoria Levati & Ro’i Zultan, 2011. "Cycles of Conditional Cooperation in a Real-Time Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-15, January.
    6. Siegfried Berninghaus & Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Marion Ott & Bodo Vogt, 2007. "Evolution of networks—an experimental analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 317-347, June.
    7. Berninghaus, Siegfried & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Ott, Marion, 2005. "A network experiment in continuous time : the influence of link costs," Papers 05-02, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    8. Goren, Harel & Kurzban, Robert & Rapoport, Amnon, 2003. "Social loafing vs. social enhancement: Public goods provisioning in real-time with irrevocable commitments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 277-290, March.

    More about this item


    Public goods; Voluntary contributions; Efficient provision; Clock mechanism;

    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
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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