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


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.


Public Good Public Finance Voluntary Contribution Country Comparison Contribution Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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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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