Experimental Economics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 35–54

Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments


DOI: 10.1007/s10683-005-0436-4

Cite this article as:
Burlando, R.M. & Guala, F. Exp Econ (2005) 8: 35. doi:10.1007/s10683-005-0436-4


We explore by purely experimental means a heterogeneous agents scenario in experimental public goods games, assuming the existence of at least three types of player: free riders, cooperators, and reciprocators. We identify the various types by means of four classification methods, and then play the public goods game with homogeneous groups. We observe that (eq1) the average contribution level is enhanced in this setting; (2) the decay phenomenon is replicated in groups of ‘pure’ free riders, whereas in groups of cooperative and reciprocating players the contribution is high and fairly stable throughout the game.


economic experiment voluntary contribution heterogeneous agents reciprocation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, University of TorinoItaly
  2. 2.Italy and School of Psychology, University of ExeterUK
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and PhilosophyUniversity of ExeterUK

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