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The Spite Dilemma Revisited: Comparison between Chinese and Japanese

Author

Listed:
  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    (Osaka University)

  • Junyi Shen

    (Osaka University)

  • Xiangdong Qin

    (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

  • Kenju Akai

    (Osaka University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Junyi Shen & Xiangdong Qin & Kenju Akai, 2007. "The Spite Dilemma Revisited: Comparison between Chinese and Japanese," OSIPP Discussion Paper 07E004, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:07e004
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    File URL: http://www.osipp.osaka-u.ac.jp/archives/DP/2007/DP2007E004.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Timothy Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2002. "Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(2), pages 133-153, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    5. Anderson, Christopher M. & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Do non-strategic sanctions obey the law of demand? The demand for punishment in the voluntary contribution mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-24, January.
    6. R. Cookson, 2000. "Framing Effects in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(1), pages 55-79, June.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Jordi Brandts & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Arthur Schram, 2004. "How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite and Cooperation in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(3_4), pages 381-424, June.
    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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    Keywords

    Voluntary contribution mechanism; Spite dilemma; Chinese; Japanese;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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