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Improving voluntary public good provision by a non-governmental, endogenous matching mechanism: Experimental evidence

Christiane Reif, Dirk Rübbelke () and Andreas Löschel ()

No 73, MEP Discussion Papers from University of Münster, Münster Center for Economic Policy (MEP)

Abstract: Social norms can help to foster cooperation and to overcome the free-rider problem in private provision of public goods. This paper focuses on the enforcement of social norms by a selfintroduced punishment and reward scheme. We analyse if subjects achieve to implement a normenforcement mechanism at their own expense by applying the theory of non-governmental normenforcement by Buchholz et al. (2014) in a laboratory experiment. Based on their theory without central authority and endogenously determined enforcement mechanism, we implement a twostage public good game: At the first stage subjects determine the strength of penalty/reward on their own and in the second stage they decide on their contributions to the public good. We find that the mechanism by Buchholz et al. (2014) leads to a higher public good contribution than without the use of any mechanism. Only in a few cases groups end up with a zero enforcement mechanism. This result indicates that subjects are apparently willing to contribute funds for implementing an enforcement mechanism. Moreover, higher enforcement parameters lead to higher public good contributions in the second stage, although too high enforcement parameters lead to unreachable theoretical optima.

Keywords: laboratory experiment; public good; matching mechanism; social norms; norm enforcement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

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