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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: via Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano - Italy
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Web page: http://www.isla.unibocconi.it/

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  1. 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.
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  7. Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-50, May.
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  11. Blackwell, Calvin & McKee, Michael, 2003. "Only for my own neighborhood?: Preferences and voluntary provision of local and global public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 115-131, September.
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  14. David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
  15. Bacharach, Michael & Bernasconi, Michele, 1997. "The Variable Frame Theory of Focal Points: An Experimental Study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-45, April.
  16. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-95, May.
  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 & Lipman, Barton L, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601, October.
  19. Michele Bernasconi, Luca Corazzini, Sebastian Kube, Michel André Maréchal., 2007. "Two are Better Than One! Individuals' Contributions to "Unpacked" Public Goods," ISLA Working Papers 30, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  20. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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