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The Spite Dilemma Revisited: Comparison between Chinese and Japanese

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    (Osaka University)

  • Junyi Shen

    (Osaka University)

  • Xiangdong Qin

    (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

  • Kenju Akai

    (Osaka University)

This paper studies Chinese choice behavior in the provision of public goods via the voluntary contribution mechanism. The laboratory experiment conducted in China adopts the same design as the one used in Saijo and Nakamura (1995), i.e. either cooperating (full contribution) or free riding (no contribution) is predicted as the unique Nash equilibrium with a high (larger than one) or low (smaller than one) marginal return of contribution. Comparing the results of Chinese subjects with their Japanese counterparts, we find significant differences between these two countries in terms of their choice behavior, despite the similarities in their cultures and the proximity in geographical positions. Japanese subjects are more likely to act spitefully, and, in contrast, Chinese subjects are more likely to perform cooperatively. In addition, concerning the deviations from the Nash equilibria with different marginal returns, the statistical results indicate that Chinese subjects behave more consistent with the theoretical prediction in the high marginal return case, while Japanese choice behavior seems less different from the theoretical expectation in the low marginal return case.

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File URL: http://www.osipp.osaka-u.ac.jp/archives/DP/2007/DP2007E004.pdf
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Paper provided by Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University in its series OSIPP Discussion Paper with number 07E004.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:07e004
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  1. Brunton, Douglas & Hasan, Rabia & Mestelman, Stuart, 2001. "The 'spite' dilemma: spite or no spite, is there a dilemma?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 405-412, June.
  2. Timothy Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2002. "Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 133-153, October.
  3. Ananish Chaudhuri & Sara Graziano & Pushkar Maitra, 2006. "Social Learning and Norms in a Public Goods Experiment with Inter-Generational Advice -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 357-380.
  4. Anderson, Lisa R & Stafford, Sarah L, 2003. "Punishment in a Regulatory Setting: Experimental Evidence from the VCM," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 91-110, July.
  5. Solow, John L. & Kirkwood, Nicole, 2002. "Group identity and gender in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 403-412, August.
  6. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Cason, Timothy N. & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Yamato, Takehiko & Yokotani, Konomu, 2004. "Non-excludable public good experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 81-102, October.
  8. R. Cookson, 2000. "Framing Effects in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 55-79, June.
  9. Jordi Brandts & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Arthur Schram, 2003. "How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite and Cooperation in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," Working Papers 56, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Louis Putterman & Christopher M. Anderson, 2003. "Do Non-strategic Sanctions Obey the Law of Demand? The Demand for Punishment in the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Working Papers 2003-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
  12. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Hideki Nakamura, 2001. "The 'Spite' Dilemma in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000155, David K. Levine.
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