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Does Uncertainty Deter Provision of Public Goods?

Listed author(s):
  • Béatrice Boulu-Reshef

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Samuel Brott

    ()

    (Berkeley Research Group)

  • Adam Zylbersztejn

    ()

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Etienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

We study a finitely repeated public goods game (based on the voluntary contribution mechanism) played under complete uncertainty about the marginal benefit of the public good relative to the private consumption (commonly known as the marginal per capita return): neither one's marginal per capita return nor other players' marginal per capita returns are known at the time of decision-making. We show that contributions are equivalent when the rate of return is predetermined and when it is uncertain, and display a similar decay over time. Combined with the previous experimental findings, our results suggest that the cooperation in public goods games is sensitive to the source of uncertainty about marginal per capita return.

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File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01441053/document
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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-01441053.

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Date of creation: Jan 2017
Publication status: Published in Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 2017.04 - ISSN : 1955-611X. 2017
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-01441053
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01441053
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  1. Urs Fischbacher & Simeon Schudy & Sabrina Teyssier, 2014. "Heterogeneous reactions to heterogeneity in returns from public goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(1), pages 195-217, June.
  2. Fisher, Joseph & Isaac, R. Mark & Schatzberg, Jeffrey W & Walker, James M., 1995. "Heterogenous Demand for Public Goods: Behavior in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 249-266, December.
  3. M. Levati & Andrea Morone & Annamaria Fiore, 2009. "Voluntary contributions with imperfect information: An experimental study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 199-216, January.
  4. Dickinson, David L., 1998. "The voluntary contributions mechanism with uncertain group payoffs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 517-533, May.
  5. Oliver Kim & Mark Walker, 1984. "The free rider problem: Experimental evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 3-24, January.
  6. Brock V Stoddard, 2015. "Probabilistic Production of a Public Good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 37-52.
  7. Lata Gangadharan & Veronika Nemes, 2009. "Experimental Analysis Of Risk And Uncertainty In Provisioning Private And Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 146-164, 01.
  8. 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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