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

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  • M. Vittoria Levati
  • Ro'i Zultan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Vittoria Levati & Ro'i Zultan, 2009. "Cycles of Conditional Cooperation in a Real-Time Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Discussion Paper Series dp511, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp511
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, June.
    2. Potters, Jan & Sefton, Martin & Vesterlund, Lise, 2005. "After you--endogenous sequencing in voluntary contribution games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1399-1419, August.
    3. Neugebauer, Tibor & Perote, Javier & Schmidt, Ulrich & Loos, Malte, 2009. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 52-60, February.
    4. Werner Güth & Maria Vittoria Levati & Andreas Stiehler, "undated". "Privately Contributing to Public Goods over Time - An Experimental Study -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    5. 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.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    7. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-556, March.
    8. Ananish Chaudhuri & Tirnud Paichayontvijit, 2006. "Conditional cooperation and voluntary contributions to a public good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(8), pages 1-14.
    9. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
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    13. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2006:i:8:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischbacher, Urs & Gächter, Simon & Quercia, Simone, 2012. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 897-913.
    2. Steiger, Eva-Maria & Zultan, Ro'i, 2014. "See no evil: Information chains and reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-12.
    3. Roi Zultan & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2011. "See No Evil: Information Chains and Reciprocity in Teams," Working Papers 1108, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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