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Income Redistribution and Public Good Provision: An Experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Jonathan Maurice

    ()

    (MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School - Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III - UM2 - Université Montpellier 2 - Sciences et Techniques - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1)

  • Agathe Rouaix

    ()

    (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - Centre international de hautes études agronomiques méditerranéennes [CIHEAM])

  • Marc Willinger

    ()

    (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - Centre international de hautes études agronomiques méditerranéennes [CIHEAM])

We investigate experimentally the relevance of Warr's neutrality theorem (1983). In our test treatments we implement an unexpected income redistribution among group members. We compare treatments with equalizing (unequalizing) redistribution to benchmark treatments without redistribution, starting either with an equal or unequal income distribution. Our data are consistent with the neutrality theorem: redistribution (either equalizing or unequalizing) does not affect the amount of voluntarily provided public good. However at the individual level we observe that subjects tend to under-adjust with respect to the predicted Nash-adjustment. We also observe an insignificant adjustment asymmetry between the poor and the rich: after redistribution subjects who become poorer lower their contribution by a larger amount than subjects who become richer increase their contribution. Finally we also observe a general tendency for poor subjects to over-contribute significantly more than rich subjects.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00736243.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
Publication status: Published in 11th INFER Annual Conference, Sep 2009, Stirling, United Kingdom
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00736243
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00736243
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
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  8. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
  9. 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.
  10. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  12. Laury, Susan K. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  13. 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.
  14. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 1998. "A theoretical analysis of altruism and decision error in public goods games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 297-323, November.
  15. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  16. Laury, Susan K & Walker, James M & Williams, Arlington W, 1999. "The Voluntary Provision of a Pure Public Good with Diminishing Marginal Returns," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 139-160, April.
  17. Andereoni, J., 1988. "Why Free Ride? Strategies And Learning In Public Goods Experiments," Working papers 375, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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