"One man's meat is another man's poison." An experimental study of voluntarily providing public projects that raise mixed feelings
We compare, on the basis of a procedurally fair "provision point" mechanism, bids for a public project from which some gain and some lose with bids for a less efficient public project from which all gain. In the main treatment, participants independently decide which one, if any, of the public projects should be implemented. We also run control treatments where only one of the two projects can be implemented. We find that (a) mixed feelings per se do not affect bidding behavior, and (b) the provision frequency of the project that raises mixed feelings declines significantly when it faces competition from the public good.
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