IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Blues Goes On But When Does It Stop? Public Goods Experiments with Non-Definite and Non-Commonly Known Time Horizons


  • Luis G. Gonzalez


  • Werner Gueth


  • M. Vittoria Levati



A robust finding of repeated public goods experiments is that high initial contribution rates sharply decline towards the end. This paper reports on an exploratory experiment designed to discover whether such a decline is simply triggered by the usual experimental practice of publicly informing participants about the exact number of periods to be played. The experiment compares punctual to interval information about the number of repetitions, whereby interval information can be privately or commonly known as well as symmetric or asymmetric. The results indicate that, while the overall average contribution levels do not change significantly across treatments, asymmetric information about the time horizon reduces the frequency of end-game effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis G. Gonzalez & Werner Gueth & M. Vittoria Levati, 2004. "The Blues Goes On But When Does It Stop? Public Goods Experiments with Non-Definite and Non-Commonly Known Time Horizons," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-20, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-20

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    public goods experiment; end game effect; common knowledge; asymmetric 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
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karin Richter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.