Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision

Bardsley, Nicholas and Sausgrueber, Rupert (2005) Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision. Journal of Economic Psychology, 26, (5), 664-681. (doi:10.1016/j.joep.2005.02.001).


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People contribute more to experimental public goods the more others contribute, a tendency called “crowding-in.” We propose a novel experimental design to distinguish two possible causes of crowding-in: reciprocity, the usual explanation, and conformity, a neglected alternative. Subjects are given the opportunity to react to contributions of a payoff-irrelevant group, in addition to their own group. We find evidence of conformity, accounting for roughly 1/3 of crowding-in.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.joep.2005.02.001
ISSNs: 0167-4870 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: conformity, reciprocity, ublic good experiment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 35305
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 15 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:03

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