Cooperation and Noise in Public Goods Experiments: Applying the Contribution Function Approach

31 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2001

See all articles by Jordi Brandts

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona

Arthur J. H. C. Schram

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

Date Written: July 1999

Abstract

We introduce a new design for experiments with the voluntary contributions mechanism for public goods. Subjects report a complete contribution function in each period, i.e., a contribution level for various marginal rates of transformation between a public and a private good. The results show that subjects' behavior cannot be explained exclusively as the result of errors. Individuals exhibit essentially one of two types of behavior. One group of subjects behaves in a way, consistent with some kind of other-regarding motivation. Some features of the data indicate that these subjects' behavior is interdependent. Another group of subjects behaves in accordance with a utility function that depends only on their own earnings. The interaction between these two groups may be important when explaining behavior over time.

Keywords: Experimental Economics, Public Goods Games, Cooperation

Suggested Citation

Brandts, Jordi and Schram, Arthur J. H. C., Cooperation and Noise in Public Goods Experiments: Applying the Contribution Function Approach (July 1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=254948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.254948

Jordi Brandts (Contact Author)

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

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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