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The effect of signalling and beliefs on the voluntary provision of public goods

  • Berlemann, Michael

We report and analyze the results of a series of classroom experiments on the voluntary provision of public goods. Using fixed effect panel regression models we find that cooperation significantly increases when participants are forced to guess the degree of overall cooperation. We also find that the possibility to make announcements during the experiment enhances cooperation significantly although these commitments are not binding and heavily used for cheating purposes. We suggest that this effect is due to attempts at restoring the announcements' reputation in the aftermath of heavy cheating.

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Paper provided by Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics in its series Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 10/03.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuddps:1003
Contact details of provider: Postal: 01062 Dresden
Phone: ++49 351 463 2196
Fax: ++49 351 463 7739
Web page: http://www.tu-dresden.de/wiwi/
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. A. J. Robson, 2010. "Efficiency in Evolutionary Games: Darwin, Nash and the Secret Handshake," Levine's Working Paper Archive 540, David K. Levine.
  3. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  4. Brosig, Jeannette, 2002. "Identifying cooperative behavior: some experimental results in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-290, March.
  5. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  6. Isaac, R. Mark & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., . "Public Goods Provision in an Experimental Environment," Working Papers 428, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  8. Amann, Erwin & Yang, Chun-Lei, 1998. "Sophistication and the persistence of cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 91-105, September.
  9. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
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