Volunteering a Public Service: An Experimental Investigation
In some public goods environments it may be advantageous for heterogeneous groups to be coordinated by a single individual. This “volunteer” will bear private costs for acting as the leader while enabling each member of the group to achieve maximum potential gains. This environment is modeled as a War of Attrition game in which everyone can wait for someone else to volunteer. Since these games generally have multiple Nash equilibria but a unique subgameperfect equilibrium, we tested experimentally the predictive power of the subgame-perfection criterion. Our data contradict that subjects saw the subgame-perfect strategy combination as the obvious way to play the game. An alternative behavioral hypothesis – that subjects were unable to predict accurately how their opponents would play and tried to maximize their expected payoff – is proposed. This hypothesis fits the observed data generally well.
|Date of creation:||May 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M4|
Phone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22765
Fax: (905) 521-8232
Web page: http://www.economics.mcmaster.ca/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John O. Ledyard, 1994.
"Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research,"
9405003, EconWPA, revised 22 May 1994.
- Bilodeau, M. & Slivinsky, A., 1994.
"Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a public service,"
Cahiers de recherche
94-01, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
- Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "Toilet cleaning and department chairing: Volunteering a public service," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 299-308, February.
- Marc Bilodeau & Al Slivinski, . "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a Public service," Public Economics 9405001, EconWPA.
- Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 133-141, Winter.
- Hendricks, Ken & Weiss, Andrew & Wilson, Charles A, 1988.
"The War of Attrition in Continuous Time with Complete Information,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(4), pages 663-80, November.
- Hendricks, Kenneth & Weiss, Andrew & Wilson, Charles, 1987. "The War of Attrition in Continuous Time with Complete Information," Working Papers 87-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
- Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
- Friedman,Daniel & Sunder,Shyam, 1994. "Experimental Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521456821, June.
- Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
- Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2001-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.