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Public Goods, Social Norms and Naive Beliefs

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  • Edward Cartwright
  • Amrish Patel

Abstract

An individual’s contribution to a public good may be seen by others as a signal of attributes such as generosity or wealth. An individual may, therefore, choose their contribution so as to send an appropriate signal to others. In this paper we question how the inferences made by others will influence the amount contributed to the public good. Evidence suggests that individuals are naive and biased towards taking things at "face value". We contrast, therefore, contributions made to a public good if others are expected to make rational inferences versus contributions if others are expected to make naive inferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2008. "Public Goods, Social Norms and Naive Beliefs," Studies in Economics 0807, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0807
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    6. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2009. "Does category reporting increase donations to charity? A signalling game approach," Studies in Economics 0924, School of Economics, University of Kent.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    signalling; naive beliefs; public goods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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