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Salience, Coordination and Cooperation in Contributing to Threshold Public Goods

  • Luca Corazzini, Christopher Cotton, Paola Valbonesi

We present results from a multiple public goods experiment, where each public good produces benefits only if total contributions to it reach a minimum threshold. The experiment allows us to compare subjects' behavior in a benchmark treatment with a single public good and in treatments with more public goods than can be funded. We show how the availability of additional, more-efficient public goods may not make subjects better off. This is because additional options decrease the probability of coordination and discourage contributions. Introducing additional, less-efficient options does not alter coordination and contributions relative to the benchmark.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/slp/papers/islawp44.pdf
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Paper provided by ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series ISLA Working Papers with number 44.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:slp:islawp:islawp44
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Web page: http://www.isla.unibocconi.it/

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  1. Spencer, Michael A. & Swallow, Stephen K. & Shogren, Jason F. & List, John A., 2009. "Rebate rules in threshold public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 798-806, June.
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  5. Bernasconi, Michele & Corazzini, Luca & Kube, Sebastian & Maréchal, Michel André, 2009. "Two are better than one!: Individuals' contributions to "unpacked" public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 31-33, July.
  6. Coats, Jennifer C. & Gronberg, Timothy J. & Grosskopf, Brit, 2009. "Simultaneous versus sequential public good provision and the role of refunds -- An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 326-335, February.
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  16. Benjamin Scheibehenne & Rainer Greifeneder & Peter M. Todd, 2010. "Can There Ever Be Too Many Options? A Meta-Analytic Review of Choice Overload," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 409-425, October.
  17. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-58, September.
  18. 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.
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