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Heterogeneous reactions to heterogeneity in returns from public goods

Author

Listed:
  • Fabrice Etilé

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Pierre Combris

    (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)

  • Urs Fischbacher

    (Thurgau Institute of Economics - University of Konstanz, University of Konstanz)

  • Simeon Schudy

    (Thurgau Institute of Economics - University of Konstanz, University of Konstanz)

  • Sabrina Teyssier

    () (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée = Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)

Abstract

In many cases individuals benefit differently from the provision of a public good. We study in a laboratory experiment how heterogeneity in returns and uncertainty about the own return affects unconditional and conditional contribution behavior in a linear public goods game. The elicitation of conditional contributions in combination with a within subject design allows us to investigate belief-independent and type-specific reactions to heterogeneity. We find that, on average, heterogeneity in returns decreases unconditional contributions but affects contributions only weakly. Uncertainty in addition to heterogeneity reduces conditional contributions slightly. Individual reactions to heterogeneity differ systematically. Selfish subjects and one third of conditional cooperators do not react to heterogeneity whereas the reactions of the remaining conditional cooperators vary. A substantial part of heterogeneity in reactions can be explained by inequity aversion with respect to different reference groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrice Etilé & Pierre Combris & Urs Fischbacher & Simeon Schudy & Sabrina Teyssier, 2014. "Heterogeneous reactions to heterogeneity in returns from public goods," Post-Print hal-02076872, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02076872
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-013-0763-x
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02076872
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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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