Heterogeneity, Communication, Coordination and Voluntary Provision of a Public Good
The results of twenty-four laboratory sessions are evaluated with respect to the role of alternative definitions of equity when communication is introduced into an environment in which voluntary contributions determine the level of public good provision to small groups of individuals. Individuals experience both non-communication and communication treatments. Additional treatments include the extent to which subjects have information about others’ payoffs from (preferences for) the consumption of public goods and about others’ incomes and payoff functions (preferences). With communication, participants in incomplete information environments are less able to coordinate their contributions while those in complete information environments succeed more often. Under complex heterogeneity payoff distributions widen with the introduction of communication. The data do not support the emergence of a particular pattern of coordination across all treatments.
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