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Heterogenous Demand for Public Goods: Behavior in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism

Joseph Fisher, R. Mark Isaac, Jeffrey W. Schatzberg and James M. Walker
Public Choice
Vol. 85, No. 3/4 (1995), pp. 249-266
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30027051
Page Count: 18
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Heterogenous Demand for Public Goods: Behavior in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism
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Abstract

Numerous laboratory experiments have investigated the performance of several processes for providing public goods through voluntary contributions. This research has been able to identify features of the institution or environment which are reliably likely to produce outcomes "close" to the free riding outcome or "substantially" greater than the pessimistic prediction of standard models. One such feature is the "marginal per-capita return" (MPCR) from the public good. Various authors have altered MPCR between groups or for an entire group at the same time. The experiments reported here address a different question, "What would happen if, within a group, some persons faced a 'high' MPCR while others faced a 'low' MPCR?"

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