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Beyond perfect substitutability in public good games: heterogeneous structures of preferences

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  • Marion Dupoux

    () (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

The literature on public good games is very focused on the additive separability of the values of the private and the public goods. Yet, the additive structure underlies a perfect substitutability relationship between private and public goods, which is a strong assumption. This paper studies the effect of payoff/preference structures on contributions to the public good within a voluntary contributions experiment in both homogeneous and heterogeneous groups. Within the structure of substitutability, I find that subjects free-ride more often when they interact with subjects of the other type (complementarity) for whom it is optimal to contribute. Introducing such a heterogeneity may provide a method for the identification of free-riders. Nonetheless, an advantageous inequality aversion emerges as well. This means that under perfect substitutability, subjects tend to dislike earning too much compared to their group member whose payoffs underlie complementarity, a more constraining structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Dupoux, 2017. "Beyond perfect substitutability in public good games: heterogeneous structures of preferences," Working Papers 2017.21, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:fae:wpaper:2017.21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
    2. Timothy Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2002. "Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(2), pages 133-153, October.
    3. Andrew Schotter & Isabel Trevino, 2014. "Belief Elicitation in the Laboratory," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 103-128, August.
    4. Keser, Claudia, 1996. "Voluntary contributions to a public good when partial contribution is a dominant strategy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 359-366, March.
    5. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-1327, December.
    6. Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
    7. Takafumi Yamakawa & Yoshitaka Okano & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2016. "Detecting motives for cooperation in public goods experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 500-512, June.
    8. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1986. "Temporary and permanent government spending in an open economy: Some evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 197-224, March.
    9. Andreoni, James & Croson, Rachel, 2008. "Partners versus Strangers: Random Rematching in Public Goods Experiments," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    10. Bracha, Anat & Menietti, Michael & Vesterlund, Lise, 2011. "Seeds to succeed?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 416-427.
    11. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Cory Smith, 2016. "Evolving Comparative Advantage and the Impact of Climate Change in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from 1.7 Million Fields around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 205-248.
    12. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:35-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Timothy Cason & Lata Gangadharan, 2015. "Promoting cooperation in nonlinear social dilemmas through peer punishment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 66-88, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public good game; substitutability/complementarity; structure of payoffs; free-riding; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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