Y2K Bibliography of Experimental Economics and Social Science
Public Goods Games with Interior Nash Equilibria

updated December 29, 1999
Charles A. Holt, cah2k@virginia.edu, suggestions and corrections welcome
(for online and personal use only)

Anderson, Simon P., Jacob K. Goeree, and Charles A. Holt (1998) “A Theoretical Analysis of Altruism and Decision Error in Public Goods Games,” Journal of Public Economics, 70:2 (November), 297-323. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, nonlinear public goods games, game theory, logit equilibrium, altruism, quantal response, numbers effects. Abstract: This paper formalizes an equilibrium model in which altruism and decision error parameters determine the distribution of contributions in public goods games. The authors prove existence of a unique symmetric equilibrium density of contributions and show that 1) contributions increase with the marginal value of the public good, 2) total contributions increase with the number of participants if there is altruism, and 3) mean contributions lie between the Nash predictions and half of the endowment. These predictions, which are not implied by a standard Nash analysis, are roughly consistent with laboratory tests. Email Contact: holt@virginia.edu

Chan, Kenneth S., Stuart Mestelman, Robert Moir, and R. Andrew Muller (1996) “The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods under Varying Income Distributions,” Canadian Journal of Economics, 29:1 (February), 54-69. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, interior Nash, asymmetric endowments.

Chan, Kenneth S., Stuart Mestelman, Rob Moir, and R. Andrew Muller (1999) “Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods,” Experimental Economics, 2(1), 5-30. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, non-linear payoffs, interior Nash, heterogeneity. Abstract: Contributions in a public good experiment are higher with increased homogeneity in preferences and incomes. Email Contact: mullera@mcmaster.ca

Isaac, R. Mark, and James Walker (1991) “On the Suboptimality of Voluntary Public Goods Provision: Further Experimental Evidence,” in Research in Experimental Economics, Vol. 4, edited by R. M. Isaac, Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 211-221. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, interior Nash equilibrium. Abstract The public goods game used here has the property that individual marginal values are declining functions of the amount of the public good, so that optimal provision levels are less than subject's initial token endowments. The observed suboptmal levels of contributions indicate that previously observed underprovision was not due to the fact that the socially optimal outcome required that full contribution of all endowed tokens. Email Contact: misaac@bpa.arizona.edu

Isaac, R. Mark, and James M. Walker (1998) “Nash as an Organizing Principle in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence,” Experimental Economics, 1:3 191-206. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, Nash equilibrium, interior Nash equilibrium, nonlinear payoffs. Email Contact: misaac@bpa.arizona.edu

Keser, Claudia (1996) “Voluntary Contributions to a Public Good when Partial Contribution is a Dominant Strategy,” Economics Letters, 50359-366. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, interior Nash design, quadratic payoffs, nonlinear payoffs. Email Contact: keser@vwl3.wiwi.uni-karlsruhe.de

Laury, Susan K., and Charles A. Holt (1998) “Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria,” in Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, edited by C. R. Plott and V. L. Smith, New York: Elsevier Press, forthcoming. Keywords: Public goods experiments with interior Nash equilibria have been used to separate "boundary effects" from other factors like altruism or spite that may cause contributions to deviate systematically from Nash predictions. Results of public goods experiments with interior Nash equilibria are compared. Email Contact: slaury@gsu.edu

Laury, Susan K., James M. Walker, and Arlington W. Williams (1999) “The Voluntary Provision of a Pure Public Good with Diminishing Marginal Returns,” Public Choice, 99:1-2 (April), 139-160. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, diminishing marginal returns, nonlinear payoffs, interior Nash. Email Contact: slaury@gsu.edu

Ledyard, John O. (1995) “Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research,” in A Handbook of Experimental Economics, edited by A. Roth and J. Kagel, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 111-194. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, survey, mechanisms, altruism, noisy behavior, reciprocity, step-level public goods, gender effects, interior Nash, nonlinear payoffs. Email Contact: jledyard@hss.caltech.edu

Sefton, Martin, and Richard Steinberg (1996) “Reward Structure in Public Good Experiments,” Journal of Public Economics, 61:2 (August), 263-287. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, interior Nash, nonlinear payoffs. Email Contact: martin.sefton@ncl.ac.uk

Willinger, Marc, and Anthony Zielelmeyer (1999) “Incentives to Cooperate in Public Good Games with an Interior Solution: Experimental Evidence,” University Louis Pasteur, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1999 ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, public, voluntary contributions, nonlinear payoffs, interior Nash, cooperation. Email Contact: willma@cournot.u-strasbg.fr