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The effects of voice with(out) punishment: Public goods provision and rule compliance

Stephen N. Morgan, Nicole M. Mason and Robert Shupp

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2019, vol. 74, issue C

Abstract: We investigate the effect of voice exercised through comment-based participation on individual public goods provision. We implement a modified linear public goods game with treatments along two dimensions. First, we introduce a comment mechanism where individuals can provide unstructured feedback to influence a third-party rule-maker who determines a minimum contribution rule (MCR) at the beginning of the game. Second, we implement a probabilistic sanctioning mechanism for individuals who do not contribute at least the MCR. We find that without punishment, comments are insufficient to maintain high contribution levels over time. However, when enforcement is present, comment-based participation has a positive effect on players’ contributions to the public good and on their probability of compliance with the MCR. Comments also have a large positive effect on the MCR set by the rule-maker; players, in turn, respond to an increase in the MCR by making larger contributions to the public good.

Keywords: Public goods; Minimum contribution rules; Voice; Procedural fairness; Compliance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 H41 C72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2019.102190

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