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The Emergence of Coordination in Public Good Games

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  • Walid Hichri

    (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Alan Kirman

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

In physical models it is well understood that the aggregate behaviour of a system is not in one to one correspondence with the behaviour of the average individual element of that system. Yet, in many economic models the behaviour of aggregates is thought of as corresponding to that of an individual. A typical example is that of public goods experiments. A systematic feature of such experiments is that, with repetition, people contribute less to public goods. A typical explanation is that people "learn to play Nash" or something approaching it. To justify such anexplanation, an individual learning model is tested on average or aggregate data. In this paper we will examine this idea by analysing average and individual behaviour in a series of public goods experiments. We analyse data from a series of games of contributions to public goods and firstly to see what happens, if we follow the standard approach and test a learning model on the average data. We then look at individual data, examine the changes that this produces and see if somegeneral model such as the EWA (Expected Weighted Attraction) with varying parameters can account for individual behaviour. We find that once we disaggregate data such models have poor explanatory power. Groups do not learn as supposed, their behaviour differs markedly from one group to another, and the behaviour of the individuals who make up the groups also varies within groups. The decline in aggregate contributions cannot be explained by resorting to a uniformmodel of individual behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Walid Hichri & Alan Kirman, 2007. "The Emergence of Coordination in Public Good Games," Post-Print halshs-00161572, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00161572
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00161572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thoron, Sylvie & Sol, Emmanuel & Willinger, Marc, 2009. "Do binding agreements solve the social dilemma?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1271-1282, December.
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    3. Drew Fudenberg & David M. Kreps & Eric S. Maskin, 1990. "Repeated Games with Long-run and Short-run Players," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 555-573.
    4. Tatsuyoshi, S. & Nakamura, H., 1995. "The 'Spite' Dilema in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Experiments," ISER Discussion Paper 0370, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    5. Drew Fudenberg & Eric Maskin, 1998. "The Folk Theorem for Repeated Games with Discounting and Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 224, David K. Levine.
    6. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Friedman, Daniel, 1997. "Individual Learning in Normal Form Games: Some Laboratory Results," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 46-76, April.
    7. Teck H Ho & Colin Camerer & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2003. "Functional EWA: A one-parameter theory of learning in games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000514, David K. Levine.
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    Cited by:

    1. Troy Tassier, 2013. "Handbook of Research on Complexity, by J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. and Edward Elgar," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 132-133.
    2. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.
    3. Y. P. Ma & S. Gonçalves & S. Mignot & J.-P. Nadal & M. B. Gordon, 2009. "Cycles of cooperation and free-riding in social systems," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 71(4), pages 597-610, October.
    4. repec:eee:soceco:v:72:y:2018:i:c:p:67-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Feng, Jun & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Shen, Junyi & Qin, Xiangdong, 2018. "Instability in the voluntary contribution mechanism with a quasi-linear payoff function: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 67-77.
    6. Ekaterina Melnik & Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, 2015. "The We and the I: The Logic of Voluntary Associations," Working Papers halshs-01109609, HAL.
    7. Antonio Doria, Francisco, 2011. "J.B. Rosser Jr. , Handbook of Research on Complexity, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK--Northampton, MA, USA (2009) 436 + viii pp., index, ISBN 978 1 84542 089 5 (cased)," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 196-204, April.
    8. Amado, André & Huang, Weini & Campos, Paulo R.A. & Ferreira, Fernando Fagundes, 2015. "Learning process in public goods games," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 430(C), pages 21-31.

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