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Heterogeneity, Communication, Coordination and Voluntary Provision of a Public Good

  • Kenneth S. Chan
  • Stuart Mestelman
  • Rob Moir
  • R. Andrew Muller

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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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications with number 2003-01.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:mceelp:2003-01
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  1. Rapoport, Amnon & Suleiman, Ramzi, 1993. "Incremental Contribution in Step-Level Public Goods Games with Asymmetric Players," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 171-194, July.
  2. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
  3. Chan, Kenneth S. & Godby, Rob & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 1997. "Equity theory and the voluntary provision of public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 349-364, March.
  4. Pranab Bardhan, 1993. "Symposium on Management of Local Commons," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 87-92, Fall.
  5. Kenneth Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Robert Moir & R. Muller, 1999. "Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-30, August.
  6. 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.
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