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Inequality, Group Cohesion, and Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis

Recent studies argue that inequality reduces group cohesiveness and dampens support for expenditures on public goods and social programs. In light of competing theoretical explanations and mixed empirical evidence of the effect of inequality on public goods provision, we conduct a test using a public goods experiment. Our design introduces inequality by manipulating the levels and distributions of fixed payments given to subjects for participating in the experiment. When made salient through public information about each individuals standing within the group, inequality in the distribution of fixed payments reduces contributions to the public good for all group members.

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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2004/wp0418_Milyo.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 0418.

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Length: 45 pgs.
Date of creation: 27 Dec 2004
Date of revision: 27 Dec 2004
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0418
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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/

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