IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Voluntary contributions with imperfect information: An experimental study

  • Annamaria Fiore
  • M. Vittoria Levati


  • Andrea Morone

We use a two-person linear voluntary contribution mechanism with stochastic marginal benefits from the public good to examine the effect of imperfect information on contributions levels. To assess prior risk attitudes, individual valuations of several risky prospects are elicited via a second-price auction. We find that limited information about the productivity of the public good lowers significantly initial contributions in comparison to a setting with perfect information, whereas different information conditions do not result in qualitatively different contribution patterns. Moreover, our results show clear evidence of risk aversion, and of a negative relationship between the latter and willingness to cooperate.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2006-30.

in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2006-30
Contact details of provider: Postal: Kahlaische Strasse 10, D-07745 Jena
Phone: +49-3641-68 65
Fax: +49-3641-68 69 90
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2008:i:20:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. RobertS. Shupp & ArlingtonW. Williams, 2008. "Risk preference differentials of small groups and individuals," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 258-283, 01.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:3:p:817-868 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Heterogeneous social preferences and the dynamics of free riding in public goods," Discussion Papers 2006-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  5. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601, October.
  6. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  7. Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
  8. Menezes, Flavio M. & Monteiro, Paulo K. & Temimi, Akram, 2001. "Private provision of discrete public goods with incomplete information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 493-514, July.
  9. Simon Gaechter & Elke Renner, 2010. "The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments," Discussion Papers 2010-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  10. Marks, Melanie B & Croson, Rachel T A, 1999. " The Effect of Incomplete Information in a Threshold Public Goods Experiment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 103-18, April.
  11. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-70, March.
  12. Tibor Neugebauer & Javier Perote & Ulrich Schmidt & Malte Loos, 2007. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Kiel Working Papers 1376, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 259-76, April.
  14. Giorgio Coricelli & Dietmar Fehr & Gerlinde Fellner, 2003. "Partner selection in public goods experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-13, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  15. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, 06.
  16. John D Hey & Andrea Morone & Ulrich Schmidt, 2007. "Noise and Bias in Eliciting Preferences," Discussion Papers 07/04, Department of Economics, University of York.
  17. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1994. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1105-06, September.
  18. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  19. 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.
  20. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. ""Preference Reversal' and the Observability of Preferences by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 675-85, May.
  21. Geoffrey Brennan & Werner Güth & Luis G. Gonzalez & M. Vittoria Levati, 2005. "Attitudes toward Private and Collective Risks in Individual and Strategic Choice Situations," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-22, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  22. Andrea Morone & Ulrich Schmidt, 2005. "An Experimental Investigation of Alternatives to Expected Utility Using Pricing Data," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-28, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  23. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Gradstein, Mark & Nitzan, Shmuel & Slutsky, Steven, 1994. "Neutrality and the private provision of public goods with incomplete information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 69-75, September.
  25. 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.
  26. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Peter P. Wakker, 2008. "Explaining the characteristics of the power (CRRA) utility family," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(12), pages 1329-1344.
  28. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  29. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  30. 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.
  31. Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-15, June.
  32. Luis G. Gonzalez & Vittoria Levati & Graciela Gonzalez-Farias, 2005. "Logit estimation of conditional cooperation in a repeated public goods experiment," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  33. Robin Cubitt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1998. "On the Validity of the Random Lottery Incentive System," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 115-131, September.
  34. Carmela Di Mauro & Anna Maffioletti, 2004. "Attitudes to risk and attitudes to uncertainty: experimental evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 357-372.
  35. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
  36. Alvin E Roth & J K Murnighan, 1997. "The rule of information in bargaining: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1631, David K. Levine.
  37. 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.
  38. James M. Walker & Matthew A. Halloran, 2004. "Rewards and Sanctions and the Provision of Public Goods in One-Shot Settings," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 235-247, October.
  39. Isaac, R Mark & James, Duncan, 2000. " Just Who Are You Calling Risk Averse?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 177-87, March.
  40. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
  41. Croson, Rachel T. A., 2000. "Thinking like a game theorist: factors affecting the frequency of equilibrium play," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 299-314, March.
  42. Duncan James, 2007. "Stability of risk preference parameter estimates within the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak procedure," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 123-141, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2006-30. 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)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Karin Richter to update the entry or send us the correct address

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.