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

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  • Luis G. Gonzalez

    ()

  • Werner Gueth

    ()

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()

Abstract

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
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    File URL: ftp://papers.econ.mpg.de/esi/discussionpapers/2004-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    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

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