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Do Liberals Play Nice? The Effects of Party and Political Ideology in Public Goods and Trust Games

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Abstract

We test the conventional wisdom that political ideology is associated with generosity or compassion by comparing the behavior of experimental subjects in public goods or trust games. We find that self-described liberals and those identifying more closely with the Democrat party are just as likely to free-ride as conservatives or Republican-leaners; likewise, political ideology is unrelated to observed trusting behavior or trustworthiness in a bilateral trust game.

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  • Jeffrey Milyo & Jennifer M. Mellor & Lisa Anderson, 2004. "Do Liberals Play Nice? The Effects of Party and Political Ideology in Public Goods and Trust Games," Working Papers 0417, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  • Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0417
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    File URL: https://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2004/wp0417_milyo.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    2. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & J�rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, "undated". "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," IEW - Working Papers 141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2003. "Inequality, Group Cohesion, and Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 0308, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Stuart Mestelman & David Feeny, 1988. "Does ideology matter?: Anecdotal experimental evidence on the voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 281-286, June.
    8. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Hernandez & Dylan Minor, 2015. "Political Identity and Trust," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-012, Harvard Business School.
    2. Mccannon, Bryan C., 2014. "Trust, reciprocity, and a preference for economic freedom: experimental evidence," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 451-470, September.
    3. Thomsson, Kaj M. & Vostroknutov, Alexander, 2017. "Small-world conservatives and rigid liberals: Attitudes towards sharing in self-proclaimed left and right," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 181-192.
    4. Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lindqvist, Erik & Loewen, Peter & Östling, Robert & Bonde, Marianne & Priks, Frida, 2012. "Generosity and Political Preferences," Working Paper Series 941, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Adam, Antonis & Drichoutis, Andreas C. & Georgoula, Maria & Kammas, Pantelis, 2015. "Should I double park or should I go? The effect of political ideology on collective action problems," MPRA Paper 66724, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Party; Free Rider;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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