Experimental Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 364–377 | Cite as

The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments

  • Simon GächterEmail author
  • Elke Renner


Belief elicitation is an important methodological issue for experimental economists. There are two generic questions: 1) Do incentives increase belief accuracy? 2) Are there interaction effects of beliefs and decisions? We investigate these questions in the case of finitely repeated public goods experiments. We find that belief accuracy is significantly higher when beliefs are incentivized. The relationship between contributions and beliefs is slightly steeper under incentives. However, we find that incentivized beliefs tend to lead to higher contribution levels than either non-incentivized beliefs or no beliefs at all. We discuss the implications of our results for the design of public good experiments.


Incentives Beliefs Experimental methodology Public goods 

JEL Classification

C 90 


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Supplementary material

10683_2010_9246_MOESM1_ESM.doc (84 kb)
The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments (DOC 84 kB)


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics, Centre for Decision Research and Experimental EconomicsUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.CESifoMunichGermany
  3. 3.IZABonnGermany

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