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Communication and visibility in public goods provision

Ernan Haruvy, Sherry Li (), Kevin McCabe () and Peter Twieg

Games and Economic Behavior, 2017, vol. 105, issue C, 276-296

Abstract: We design a public goods laboratory experiment in both a virtual world environment and an abstract computerized environment, each with and without communication and visibility, to investigate how communication and visibility of other participants affect individual contributions to public goods. In both environments, the presence of communication significantly and consistently improves public good contributions. However, the interaction between communication and visibility differs in the two environments. While the two dimensions are substitutes in the abstract computerized environment, they work in a complementary way to increase public goods contributions in the virtual world environment. Chat content analysis further shows that positive reinforcement and monitoring have a positive impact on cooperation, but dissent has a negative impact.

Keywords: Experiments; Public goods; Voluntary contribution game; Communication; Virtual worlds (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:276-296