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Voting on contributions to a threshold public goods game: An experimental investigation

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  • Feige, Christian
  • Ehrhart, Karl-Martin
  • Krämer, Jan

Abstract

We introduce a binding unanimous voting rule to a public goods game with an uncertain threshold for the total group contribution. In a laboratory experiment we find that voting generates significantly higher total contributions than making individual voluntary contributions to the public good. Heterogeneity with regard to marginal costs of contribution makes coordination on the threshold value somewhat more di cult when voting, but apparently facilitates coordination when not voting. Homogeneous non-voting groups instead exhibit a breakdown of contributions commonly observed in linear public goods games, but unusual for a threshold setting. We also notice a preference for payoff symmetry over maximization of expected welfare in heterogeneous voting groups, which to a lesser extent also appears in nonvoting groups. Using a top-down rule, i.e., splitting the voting process into two separate votes on 1) total contribution and 2) individual contributions does not affect these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Feige, Christian & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Krämer, Jan, 2014. "Voting on contributions to a threshold public goods game: An experimental investigation," Working Paper Series in Economics 60, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kitwps:60
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel & Bettina Rockenbach, 2014. "Give Everybody a Voice! The Power of Voting in a Public Goods Experiment with Externalities," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public good; threshold uncertainty; experimental economics; unanimous voting; committee; heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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