Detecting motives for cooperation in public goods experiments
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This study clarifies the types of motives that are important as a source of cooperation in a linear public goods experiment. Our experimental design separates contributions into those due to confusion, one-shot motives (which includes altruism, warm-glow, inequality aversion, and conditional cooperation), and multi-round motives (which includes a strategic motive under incomplete information, a failure of backward induction, and reciprocity). The experiment reveals that multi-round motives plays an important role in driving cooperative behavior. Confusion and one-shot motives play a minor role.
KeywordsCooperation Motives Public goods
JEL ClassificationC72 C92 H41
We are grateful to Takao Kusakawa, Kan Takeuchi, Guillaume Fréchette, and the participants at the 13th Experimental Social Sciences Conference at Kobe University, the seminar at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the 2011 meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Science Association at University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Experimental Social Sciences Workshop at Osaka University, the 11th Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory Conference, and the 14th International Conference on Social Dilemmas for their helpful comments and discussions. The present version of this paper has benefited from the comments of the editor and two referees. This research was supported by KAKENHI (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan) on Priority Areas “Experimental Social Science.” The authors are responsible for any remaining errors that may occur.
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