Enforcement of Contribution Norms in Public Good Games with Heterogeneous Populations Reuben, Ernesto; Riedl, Arno

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Authors
Reuben, Ernesto ; Riedl, Arno
Appears In
Games and Economic Behavior
Subjects
Social norms; Psychology and mental health
Audience
Academic
Summary
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2012.10.001 Byline: Ernesto Reuben (a)(b), Arno Riedl (a)(c)(d)(e) Keywords: Public good; Heterogeneous groups; Punishment; Cooperation; Social norms; Norm enforcement Abstract: We investigate the emergence and enforcement of contribution norms to public goods in homogeneous and heterogeneous groups. With survey data we demonstrate that uninvolved individuals hold well defined yet conflicting normative views of fair contribution rules related to efficiency, equality, and equity. In the experiment, in the absence of punishment no positive contribution norm is observed and all groups converge towards free-riding. With punishment, strong and stable differences in contributions emerge across group types and individuals in different roles. In some cases these differences result from the emergence of an efficiency norm where all fully contribute. In the cases where full efficiency is not attained, these differences result from the enforcement of different relative contribution norms. Hence, our experimental data show that, even in heterogeneous groups, individuals can overcome the collective action problem inherent in public good games by agreeing on and enforcing a contribution norm. Author Affiliation: (a) IZA, Bonn, Germany (b) Columbia University, United States (c) CESifo, Munchen, Germany (d) Netspar, Tilburg, The Netherlands (e) Department of Economics (AE1), School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands Article History: Received 21 January 2012 Article Note: (footnote) [star] We would like to thank an anonymous advisory editor and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. Financial support from the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) through the "Evolution & Behavior" grant 051-12-012 and from the EU-Marie Curie RTN ENABLE (MRTM-CT-2003-505223) is gratefully acknowledged.
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http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/199170
Work ID
199170

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