How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite, Cooperation and Errors in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms

38 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2001

See all articles by Jordi Brandts

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona

Tatsuyoshi Saijo

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Arthur J. H. C. Schram

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: June 2000

Abstract

This paper studies the universality of behavior in experiments with a linear voluntary contributions mechanism for public goods conducted in Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA. The same experimental design was used in the four countries. Our "contribution function" design allows us to obtain a more complete picture of subjects' behavior than previous studies; it yields information about situations where it is a dominant strategy to contribute all the endowment and about situations where it is a dominant strategy to contribute nothing. Our results show, first, that differences in behavior across countries are minor. In particular, the evidence for spiteful behavior by Japanese subjects, that has been observed in other studies, is not confirmed by our results. Second, for all four countries our data are inconsistent with the explanation that subjects contribute only out of confusion and show that cooperation is a stronger motivating force than spite.

Suggested Citation

Brandts, Jordi and Saijo, Tatsuyoshi and Schram, Arthur J. H. C., How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite, Cooperation and Errors in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms (June 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=254454 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.254454

Jordi Brandts (Contact Author)

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

Tatsuyoshi Saijo

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) ( email )

6-1 Mihogaoka
Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0047
Japan
81-(0)6 6879-8571 (Phone)
81-(0)6 6878-2766 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/~saijo/index-e.html

Arthur J. H. C. Schram

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 18
CREED
Amsterdam 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 (0)20 525 4293 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/creed/PEOPLE/Arthurs.htm

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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