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The role of beliefs, trust, and risk in contributions to a public good

Author

Listed:
  • Kocher, Martin G.

    () (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Matzat, Dominik

    () (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates the role of beliefs, trust, and risk in shaping cooperative behavior. By applying incentivized elicitation methods to measure these concepts, we find that beliefs about others’ behavior and trust are positively associated with cooperation in a public goods game. However, even though contributing unconditionally to a public good resembles a situation of making decisions under risk, elicited risk preferences do not seem to explain cooperation in a systematic way.

Suggested Citation

  • Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2011. "The role of beliefs, trust, and risk in contributions to a public good," Working Papers in Economics 482, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0482
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simon Gächter & Elke Renner, 2010. "The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(3), pages 364-377, September.
    2. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
    3. Sabrina Teyssier, 2012. "Inequity and risk aversion in sequential public good games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 91-119, April.
    4. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    5. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & J�rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, "undated". "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," IEW - Working Papers 141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    9. Marcel Fafchamps, 2006. "Development and social capital," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1180-1198.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny E. Wollbrant, 2017. "Strong, bold, and kind: self-control and cooperation in social dilemmas," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 44-69, March.
    2. Vesely, Stepan & Wengström, Erik, 2017. "Risk and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence from Stochastic Public Good Games," Working Papers 2017:3, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Furtner, Nadja C. & Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2016. "Gender and cooperative preferences on five continents," Discussion Papers in Economics 30226, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    4. Gaudeul, Alexia & Crosetto, Paolo & Riener, Gerhard, 2017. "Better stuck together or free to go? Of the stability of cooperation when individuals have outside options," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 99-112.
    5. Bartczak, Anna & Chilton, Susan & Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2017. "Gain and loss of money in a choice experiment. The impact of financial loss aversion and risk preferences on willingness to pay to avoid renewable energy externalities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 326-334.
    6. Piyapong Janmaimool & Chaweewan Denpaiboon, 2016. "Rural Villagers’ Quality of Life Improvement by Economic Self-Reliance Practices and Trust in the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-20, August.
    7. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1058-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michalis Drouvelis & Julian C. Jamison, 2015. "Selecting public goods institutions: Who likes to punish and reward?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 501-534, October.
    9. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9540-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Robert Oxoby, 2013. "Paretian dictators: constraining choice in a voluntary contribution game," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 125-138, June.
    11. Saldarriaga-Isaza, Adrián & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Arango, Santiago, 2015. "Phasing out mercury through collective action in artisanal gold mining: Evidence from a framed field experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 406-415.
    12. repec:eee:phsmap:v:505:y:2018:i:c:p:973-983 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Nigus, Halefom & Nillesen, Eleonora & Mohnen, Pierre, 2018. "The effect of weather index insurance on social capital: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia," MERIT Working Papers 007, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; cooperation; risk preferences; trust; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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