Pro-Social Behavior by Groups and Individuals: Evidence from Contributions to a Global Public Good
29 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 24, 2017
Decisions affecting the well-being of others are often made by groups rather than individuals. For example, management boards decide about mitigating emissions, political representatives decide on environmental policies, and voters cast their ballot on the participation in international treaties. I analyze group decisions on contributions to a public good and contrast them to individual decisions using a large online experiment. Participants decide about contributions to climate change mitigation - either individually or in groups. Groups use majority voting or a random dictator mechanism to determine the contributions of their members. I find that contributions are higher if choices are made in groups. In addition, subjects tend to less extreme choices in group decisions - even if individual preferences are aggregated via voting.
Keywords: cooperation, groups, individuals, majority voting, representative democracy
JEL Classification: C92, D71, H41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation