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Measuring altruism in a public goods experiment: a comparison of U.S. and Czech subjects


This paper compares contributions to an experimental public good across the United States and Czech Republic, using a design that allows us to distinguish between altruism and decision error. Czech subjects contribute significantly more than American subjects, and further analysis reveals that this result cannot be attributed to the confounding effects of gender or decision error. Instead, preferences for altruism appear to differ across groups: Czechs are more altruistic than Americans and men are more altruistic than women.

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Correspondence to Lisa R. Anderson.

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Anderson, L.R., DiTraglia, F.J. & Gerlach, J.R. Measuring altruism in a public goods experiment: a comparison of U.S. and Czech subjects. Exp Econ 14, 426–437 (2011).

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  • Public goods
  • Experiment
  • Czech Republic
  • Nationality
  • Gender

JEL Classification

  • C92
  • H41