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Reciprocity Networks and the Participation Problem

  • Martin Dufwenberg
  • Amrish Patel

Reciprocity can be a powerful motivation for human behaviour. Scholars argue that it is relevant in the context of private provision of public goods. We examine whether reciprocity can resolve the associated coordination problem. The interaction of reciprocity with cost-sharing is critical. Neither cost-sharing nor reciprocity in isolation can solve the problem, but together they have that potential. We introduce new network notions of reciprocity relations to better understand this. Our analysis uncovers an intricate web of nuances that demonstrate the attainable yet elusive nature of a unique outcome.Keywords: Discrete public good, participation, reciprocity networks, coordination, cost-sharing JEL codes: C72, D03, H41.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 521.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:521
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  1. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  3. Ryusuke Shinohara, 2009. "The possibility of efficient provision of a public good in voluntary participation games," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 367-387, March.
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  9. Quoc-Anh Do & Stephen Leider & Markus M. Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat, 2008. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Working Papers 17-2008, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Makris, Miltiadis, 2009. "Private provision of discrete public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 292-299, September.
  12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2000. "Reciprocity and wage undercutting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1069-1078, May.
  13. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
  14. 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 541-56, March.
  15. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
  16. Spencer, Michael A. & Swallow, Stephen K. & Shogren, Jason F. & List, John A., 2009. "Rebate rules in threshold public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 798-806, June.
  17. Rothenhäusler, Dominik & Schweizer, Nikolaus & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Institutions, shared guilt, and moral transgression," Working Paper Series in Economics 47, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  18. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  19. repec:dgr:uvatin:2000011 is not listed on IDEAS
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