Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experiments on collective action
by Recalde, Maria Patricia, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2014, 133; 3647985
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation employs experimental methods to investigate some of the non-material incentives that exacerbate and help groups resolve problems of collective action. It is composed of three studies that investigate what motivates individuals to contribute to public goods, what mechanisms can be used to encourage giving, and the aggregate collective action problem of dishonesty and corruption. Chapter 1 provides an overview of each study. Chapter 2 presents work conducted with Kelsey Jack, which investigates leadership within the context of voluntary public good provision. We conduct a field experiment in 52 communities in rural Bolivia to investigate two questions: (1) Can leaders enhance voluntary public good provision by making a public donation before others?, and (2) If so, why? We explore whether leaders give more when they have the opportunity to influence others, and whether their behavior influences the contributions of others. Some of the mechanisms behind leadership influence are explored. Chapter 3 presents a study conducted with Arno Riedl and Lise Vesterlund, which investigates voluntary contributions to public goods in the laboratory. We conduct an experiment that varies the location of the unique Nash equilibrium in dominant strategies in piece-wise linear public good games and examine whether or not response time can be used to identify the intuitive action. The study gives particular attention to error, which manifests itself as generosity in the classic linear public good game, and may be negatively correlated with the time individuals take to make choices. Chapter 4 investigates a collective action problem of a different nature: dishonesty. It conducts two laboratory experiments to investigate whether or not dishonesty is contagious, and the role that tolerance plays in halting or facilitating the contagion of dishonest behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vesterlund, Lise
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Public policy
Keywords: Collective action response time, Dishonest behavior contagion, Dishonesty, Leadership, Public good, Voluntary contributions
Publication Number: 3647985
ISBN: 978-1-321-42551-2
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