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

Listed author(s):
  • Feige, Christian
  • Ehrhart, Karl-Martin
  • Krämer, Jan

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.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/100667/1/792981782.pdf
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Paper provided by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 60.

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Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:zbw:kitwps:60
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.wiwi.kit.edu/

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  1. Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Gardner, Roy & von Hagen, Jurgen & Keser, Claudia, 2007. "Budget processes: Theory and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 279-295, May.
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  6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Rachel Croson & Melanie Marks, 2000. "Step Returns in Threshold Public Goods: A Meta- and Experimental Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 239-259, March.
  8. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  9. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1998. "Public good provision and public bad prevention: The effect of framing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 143-161, January.
  10. Michael McBride, 2010. "Threshold uncertainty in discrete public good games: an experimental study," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 77-99, February.
  11. Magdalena Margreiter & Matthias Sutter & Dennis Dittrich, 2005. "Individual and Collective Choice and Voting in Common Pool Resource Problem with Heterogeneous Actors," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 241-271, October.
  12. Croson, Rachel & Marks, Melanie, 2001. "The Effect of Recommended Contributions in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 238-249, April.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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