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

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  • 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; cooperation; risk preferences; trust; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    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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