The experimetrics of public goods: inferring motivations from contributions

Bardsley, Nicholas and Moffatt, Peter G. (2007) The experimetrics of public goods: inferring motivations from contributions. Theory and Decision, 62, (2), 161-193. (doi:10.1007/s11238-006-9013-3).


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In public goods experiments, stochastic choice, censoring and motivational heterogeneity give scope for disagreement over the extent of unselfishness, and whether it is reciprocal or altruistic. We show that these problems can be addressed econometrically, by estimating a finite mixture model to isolate types, incorporating double censoring and a tremble term. Most subjects act selfishly, but a substantial proportion are reciprocal with altruism playing only a marginal role. Isolating reciprocators enables a test of Sugden’s model of voluntary contributions. We estimate that reciprocators display a self-serving bias relative to the model.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s11238-006-9013-3
ISSNs: 0040-5833 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: altruism, finite mixture models, reciprocity, tobit, trembles, voluntary contributions
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 42825
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 March 2007Published
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:15

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