Ignorance is not Always Bliss: Feedback and Dynamics in Public Good Experiments
CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2010-64
29 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 3, 2010
In this paper we study the effects of providing additional feedback about individual contributions and earnings on the dynamics of contributions in a repeated public good game. We include treatments where subjects can freely choose whether to obtain additional information about individual contributions or individual earnings. We find that, in the aggregate, contributions decline less fast when additional information about contributions and earnings is provided on top of aggregate information. We also find that there exist substantial but intuitively appealing differences in the way individuals react to feedback. Particularly, individuals with a high propensity to contribute tend to imitate the highest contributor more often and are more inclined to obtain feedback about individual contributions than about individual earnings than individuals with a lower propensity to contribute.
Keywords: voluntary contributions, experiment, repeated interaction, feedback, imitation
JEL Classification: C91, D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation