Public Choice

, Volume 119, Issue 3–4, pp 381–424 | Cite as

How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite and Cooperation in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms

  • Jordi Brandts
  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo
  • Arthur Schram

Abstract

This paper studies behavior in experimentswith a linear voluntary contributionsmechanism for public goods conducted inJapan, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S.A.The same experimental design was used inthe four countries. Our `contributionfunction' design allows us to obtain a viewof subjects' behavior from twocomplementary points of view. It yieldsinformation about situations where, inpurely pecuniary terms, it is a dominantstrategy to contribute all the endowmentand about situations where it is a dominantstrategy to contribute nothing. Our resultsshow, first, that differences in behavioracross countries are minor. We find thatwhen people play `the same game' theybehave similarly. Second, for all fourcountries our data are inconsistent withthe explanation that subjects contributeonly out of confusion. A common cooperativemotivation is needed to explain the data.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordi Brandts
    • 1
  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo
    • 2
  • Arthur Schram
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de Análisis Económico (CSIC)Campus UABBellaterra, BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Social and Economic ResearchOsaka UniversityIbaraki, Osaka 567Japan
  3. 3.CREED, Department of EconomicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamthe Netherlands

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