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Experimental investigations of binary threshold public good games

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  • Spiller, Jörg
  • Bolle, Friedel

Abstract

In Binary Threshold Public Good (BTPG) games n players contribute or not to the production of a public good which is produced if and only if there are at least k contributors. The BTPG games with the highest (k=n) and the lowest (k=1) threshold are the Stag Hunt game and the Volunteer's Dilemma. There is a plethora of equilibria in BTPG games. We experimentally investigate 16 different symmetric and asymmetric BTPG games with n=4 and k=1,2,3,4 and test general theoretical attributes of equilibria and whether equilibrium play can apply at all. As theory predicts, neither magnitude effects nor a negative instead of a positive frame affect behavior which is contrary to the bulk of the experimental literature. In the Stag Hunt game, which is often used to discriminate between payoff dominance and risk dominance, risk dominance as a description of behavior is clearly rejected and payoff dominance is moderately supported. We show that no theory with homogeneous players can describe behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Spiller, Jörg & Bolle, Friedel, 2017. "Experimental investigations of binary threshold public good games," Discussion Papers 393, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:euvwdp:393
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    Cited by:

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    3. Bolle, Friedel, 2017. "A behavioral theory of equilibrium selection," Discussion Papers 392, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    4. Federica Alberti & Anna Cartwright & Edward Cartwright, 2021. "Predicting Efficiency in Threshold Public Good Games: A Learning Direction Theory Approach," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2021-01, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.
    5. Rudolf, Katrin & Edison, Edi & Wollni, Meike, 2022. "Achieving landscape patterns for biodiversity conservation through payments for ecosystem services – Evidence from a field experiment in Indonesia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    6. Ginzburg, Boris & Guerra, José-Alberto & Lekfuangfu, Warn N., 2023. "Critical Mass in Collective Action," MPRA Paper 117139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Simone D'Alessandro & Caterina Giannetti & Pietro Guarnieri, 2018. "Private vs Public incentives: an experiment on motivation crowding and social trust," Discussion Papers 2018/240, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Binary Threshold Public Goods; framing; equilibrium selection; payoff dominance; risk dominance; efficiency; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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