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Isolating and identifying motivations: A voluntary contribution mechanism experiment with interior Nash equilibria

Author

Listed:
  • Takehisa Kumakawa

    () (Osaka University)

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    () (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)

  • Takehiko Yamato

    (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Abstract

What motivates subjects in their decision making is a lingering issue in public goods experiments. Using a nonlinear payoff function and a two-subject model, we create a one-toone correspondence between contributions and motivations, enabling us to isolate and identify the following three possible motivations: Nash, cooperative, and altruistic motivations. The experimental results show that Nash- motivated behavior accounts for more than 70% of all decisions. Some subjects reveal a cooperative motivation when they know the other subject's payoff information. Altruistic motivation is found to be rare throughout the experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Takehisa Kumakawa & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2015. "Isolating and identifying motivations: A voluntary contribution mechanism experiment with interior Nash equilibria," Working Papers SDES-2015-16, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Mar 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:kch:wpaper:sdes-2015-16
    as

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    File URL: http://www.souken.kochi-tech.ac.jp/seido/wp/SDES-2015-16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Motivation; Nash; Cooperation; Altruism; Voluntary contribution mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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