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Do threshold patterns matter in public good provision?

Author

Listed:
  • Ye, Maoliang
  • Nikolov, Plamen
  • Casaburi, Lorenzo
  • Asher, Sam

Abstract

There is a substantial literature examining coordination in public goods games. We conducted an experiment to explore how varying patterns of thresholds affect the willingness of subjects to contribute to a public good. We had subjects play a multi-period game where each subject was allocated an initial point endowment and told a threshold for the group had to choose how much to contribute to the common pot. Each period is identical, except for the possibility of having a different threshold, which is always stated before the players make their contributions. We found that while contributions are similar for the increasing and decreasing threshold group types when thresholds were low, a sizeable gap opens up around the average threshold size. We found that for nearly every threshold, it is more profitable to be in an increasing than in a decreasing threshold group type. Early cooperation seems to facilitate the achievement of harder-to-reach thresholds, which require considerable contributions from all members of the group. These findings are also very robust in the regression specifications. Our findings shed light on the role of past cooperative success and threshold patterns on subsequent willingness to cooperate.

Suggested Citation

  • Ye, Maoliang & Nikolov, Plamen & Casaburi, Lorenzo & Asher, Sam, 2008. "Do threshold patterns matter in public good provision?," MPRA Paper 12029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12029
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12275/1/MPRA_paper_12275.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
    2. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
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    4. Simon Gaechter & Benedikt Herrmann, 2006. "The limits of self-governance in the presence of spite: Experimental evidence from urban and rural Russia," Discussion Papers 2006-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    5. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-366, April.
    6. Martijn Egas & Arno Riedl, 2005. "The Economics of Altruistic Punishment and the Demise of Cooperation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-065/1, Tinbergen Institute.
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    9. Rachel Croson & Melanie Marks, 2000. "Step Returns in Threshold Public Goods: A Meta- and Experimental Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 239-259, March.
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    11. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experimental economics; Public goods decision making;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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