Simultaneous and Sequential Contributions to Step-Level Public Goods: One vs. Two Provision Levels

36 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011 Last revised: 26 Feb 2014

Hans-Theo Normann

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Holger Andreas Rau

University of Göttingen

Date Written: Februrary 2014

Abstract

In a step-level public-good experiment, we investigate how the order of moves (simultaneous vs. sequential) and the number of step levels (one vs. two) affects public-good provision in a two-player game. We find that the sequential order of moves significantly improves public-good provision and payoffs, even though second movers often punish first movers who give less than half of the threshold contribution. The additional second step level --- which is not feasible in standard Nash equilibrium --- leads to higher contributions but does not improve public-good provision and lowers payoffs. We calibrate the parameters of Fehr and Schmidt's (1999) model of inequality aversion to make quantitative predictions. We find that actual behavior fits remarkably well with several predictions in a quantitative sense.

Keywords: Experimental economics, fund raising, provision-point public good, sequential play, threshold public good

JEL Classification: C92, D70, H41

Suggested Citation

Normann, Hans-Theo and Rau, Holger Andreas, Simultaneous and Sequential Contributions to Step-Level Public Goods: One vs. Two Provision Levels (Februrary 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1763442 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1763442

Hans-Theo Normann (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Holger Andreas Rau

University of Göttingen ( email )

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3
Göttingen, Niedersachsen 37073
Germany

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