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Destructive behavior in a Fragile Public Good game

Author

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  • Maximilian Hoyer

    (CREED - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making - UvA - Universiteit van Amsterdam, Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam - UvA - Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Nadège Bault

    (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 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Ben Loerakker

    (CREED - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making - UvA - Universiteit van Amsterdam, Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam - UvA - Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Frans Van Winden

    (CREED - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making - UvA - Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Abstract

Socially destructive behavior in a public good environment - like damaging public goods - is an underexposed phenomenon in economics. In an experiment we investigate whether such behavior can be influenced by the very nature of an environment. To that purpose we use a Fragile Public Good (FPG) game which puts the opportunity for destructive behavior (taking) on a level playing field with constructive behavior (contributing). We find substantial evidence of destructive decisions, sometimes leading to sour relationships characterized by persistent hurtful behavior. While positive framing induces fewer destructive decisions, shifting the selfish Nash towards minimal taking doubles its share to more than 20%. Female subjects are found to be more inclined to use destructive decisions. Finally, subjects' social value orientation turns out to be partly predictive of (at least initial) destructive choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximilian Hoyer & Nadège Bault & Ben Loerakker & Frans Van Winden, 2014. "Destructive behavior in a Fragile Public Good game," Working Papers halshs-01090199, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01090199
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2014.02.023
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01090199
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Blanco, Esther & Haller, Tobias & Lopez, Maria Claudia & Walker, James M., 2016. "The tension between private benefits and degradation externalities from appropriation in the commons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 136-147.
    2. Esther Blanco & Tobias Haller & James M. Walker, 2017. "Externalities in appropriation: responses to probabilistic losses," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 793-808, December.
    3. van Winden, Frans, 2015. "Political economy with affect: On the role of emotions and relationships in political economics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 298-311.
    4. Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane & Spitzer, Florian, 2016. "What Drives Destruction? On the Malleability of Anti-Social Behavior," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 5343, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    spite; destructive behavior; public good; relationship; laboratory experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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