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Cycles of Conditional Cooperation in a Real-Time Voluntary Contribution Mechanism

  • M. Vittoria Levati
  • Ro'i Zultan

This paper provides a new way to identify conditional cooperation in a real-time version of the standard voluntary contribution mechanism. Our approach avoids most drawbacks of the traditional procedures because it relies on endogenous cycle lengths, which are defined by the number of contributors a player waits before committing to a further contribution. Based on hypothetical distributions of randomly generated contribution sequences, we provide strong evidence for conditionally cooperative behavior. Moreover, notwithstanding a decline in contributions, conditional cooperation is found to be stable over time.

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Paper provided by The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp511.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Games 2011, 2(1), 1-15.
Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp511
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  1. Goren, Harel & Kurzban, Robert & Rapoport, Amnon, 2003. "Social loafing vs. social enhancement: Public goods provisioning in real-time with irrevocable commitments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 277-290, March.
  2. Güth, Werner & Levati, Maria Vittoria & Stiehler, Andreas, 2002. "Privately contributing to public goods over time: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,18, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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  4. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing ‘Conditional Cooperation’ in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, 06.
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  7. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Tibor Neugebauer & Javier Perote & Ulrich Schmidt & Malte Loos, 2005. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Experimental 0503009, EconWPA.
  9. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  10. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  11. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2000. "The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-260, December.
  12. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  13. Buckley, Edward & Croson, Rachel, 2006. "Income and wealth heterogeneity in the voluntary provision of linear public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 935-955, May.
  14. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. repec:dgr:kubcen:200398 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  17. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  18. Ananish Chaudhuri & Tirnud Paichayontvijit, 2006. "Conditional cooperation and voluntary contributions to a public good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(8), pages 1-14.
  19. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
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