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Altruism, reputation and noise in linear public goods experiments

Palfrey, Thomas R. and Prisbrey, Jeffrey E (1996) Altruism, reputation and noise in linear public goods experiments. Journal of Public Economics, 61 (3). pp. 409-427. ISSN 0047-2727.

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We report an experiment using a design that permits the direct measurement of individual decision rules in voluntary contribution games. We estimate the distribution of altruism in our subjects and find that observed 'overcontribution' is attributable to a combination of random variation in behavior and a few altruistic players. We also employ Andreoni's partners/strangers design to measure reputation effects. The only difference observed is that the strangers treatment produces slightly more random variation in behavior. Our results explain some anomalies about contribution rates, and support past findings that reputation-building plays a minor role in such experiments.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemWorking Paper
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Alternate Title:Altuism, reputation and noise in linear public goods experiments
Additional Information:Copyright © 1996 Published by Elsevier B.V. Received March 1994; revised version received July 1994. We acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation (SBR-9223701) and the Ministerio de Education y Ciencia (DGICYT PB91- 0810). We thank Estela Hopenhayn for assistance in preparing and conducting the experiments. Antonio Rangel helped with the translation of instructions from English. We are grateful to our colleagues at both Caltech and Pompeu Fabra for their advice, with speciai thanks to Antoni Bosch. The comments from two referees are gratefully acknowledged.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC)DGICYT PB91- 0810
Subject Keywords:Voluntary contributions; Public goods; Experiments; Reputation; Learning; Errors
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Social Science Working Paper864
Issue or Number:3
Classification Code:JEL: 026; 215
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160303-151944005
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65042
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:28 Mar 2016 22:03
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 09:58

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