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Funding a New Bridge in Rural Vietnam: A field experiment on conditional cooperation and default contributions

Author

Listed:
  • Carlsson, Fredrik

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

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

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

  • Pham Khanh, Nam

    () (Faculty of Development Economics, University of Ho Chi Minh City)

Abstract

The ability to provide public goods is essential for economic and social development, yet there is very limited empirical evidence regarding contributions to a real local public good in developing countries. This paper analyzes a field experiment where 200 households in rural Vietnam could make real contributions to an archetypical public good, a bridge. In particular, we study the role of two kinds of social influence: i) conditional cooperation, i.e., that people may be more willing to cooperate if others do, and ii) the effects of the default alternative, i.e., that people are influenced by the default alternative presented to them in the choice situation. We find significant and substantial effects of both kinds of influence. For example, by either giving the subjects the additional information that one of the most common contributions by others is 100,000 dong (a relatively low contribution) or introducing a zero-contribution default alternative, the average contribution decreases by about 20% compared to the baseline case.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Pham Khanh, Nam, 2011. "Funding a New Bridge in Rural Vietnam: A field experiment on conditional cooperation and default contributions," Working Papers in Economics 503, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0503
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/25547
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bchir, Mohamed Ali, 2014. "From the lab to the field: An experimental investigation of the provision of a club good," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 57-67.
    2. Cappelletti, Dominique & Mittone, Luigi & Ploner, Matteo, 2014. "Are default contributions sticky? An experimental analysis of defaults in public goods provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 331-342.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voluntary contribution; local public goods; social influence; default contribution; conditional cooperation; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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