Are cooperators effciency- or fair-minded? Evidence from a public goods experiment
M. Vittoria Levati
We use a two-person public goods experiment to distinguish between efficiency and fairness as possible motivations for cooperative behavior. Asymmetric marginal per capita returns allow only the high-productivity player to increase group payoffs when contributing positive amounts. Asymmetric contributions, however, yield unequal individual payoffs. To assess a priori cooperative preferences, we measure individual 'value-orientations' by means of the decomposed game technique. Overall, our results indicate that fairness (or inequality aversion) is more influential than efficiency in driving behavior.
Public goods experiments, Conditional cooperation, Fairness, Efficiency, Value orientations
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