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Public Goods, Social Norms and Naive Beliefs

Edward Cartwright () and Amrish Patel ()

Studies in Economics from School of Economics, University of Kent

Abstract: An individual’s contribution to a public good may be seen by others as a signal of attributes such as generosity or wealth. An individual may, therefore, choose their contribution so as to send an appropriate signal to others. In this paper we question how the inferences made by others will influence the amount contributed to the public good. Evidence suggests that individuals are naive and biased towards taking things at "face value". We contrast, therefore, contributions made to a public good if others are expected to make rational inferences versus contributions if others are expected to make naive inferences.

Keywords: signalling; naive beliefs; public goods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D8 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-pbe and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Public Goods, Social Norms, and Naïve Beliefs (2010) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0807

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