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Interior Collective Optimum in a Volontary Contribution to a Public-Goods Game : An Experimental Approach

  • Hichri, Walid

We run a public good experiment with four different treatments. The payoff function is chosen such that the Nash equilibrium (NE) and the collective optimum (CO) are both in the interior of the strategy space. We try to test the effect of varying the level of the collective optimum, which changes the "social dilemma", involved in the decision as to how much to contribute to the public good . Our results show that contributions increase with the level of the interior CO. There is overcontribution in comparison to the NE and under contribution in comparison to the CO. But contributions are as far from the CO as the level of this former gets high. An overcontribution index that takes into account the effective contribution relative to both, the NE and the CO, shows that subjects adopt a constant behavior while passing from one treatment to another: they contribute a constant share of the CO.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7883.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Applied Economics Letters 3.11(2004): pp. 135-140
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7883
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  1. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-27, December.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Keser, C. & Gardner, R., 1994. "Strategic Behavior of Experienced Subjects in a Common Pool Resource Game," Papers 94-009, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  5. Willinger, Marc & Ziegelmeyer, Anthony, 1999. "Framing and cooperation in public good games: an experiment with an interior solution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 323-328, December.
  6. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  7. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  8. Sefton, Martin & Steinberg, Richard, 1996. "Reward structures in public good experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-287, August.
  9. van Dijk, Frans & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Dynamics of social ties and local public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 323-341, June.
  10. R. Isaac & James Walker, 1998. "Nash as an Organizing Principle in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 191-206, December.
  11. Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
  12. Keser, Claudia, 1996. "Voluntary contributions to a public good when partial contribution is a dominant strategy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 359-366, March.
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