The Participation Effect: Is it a Question of Different Expectations and Communication? A Preliminary Investigation

By Francesca Bortolami.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This experiment is a preliminary test to explain the Participation Effect observed in Bortolami and Mittone (2009). The Participation Effect is definable as the consequence associated with agents’ direct involvement in self-deciding a mechanism to reward/ punish contributory behaviors. The Participation Effect has been observed in experiments with public good games. The experimental results show a behavioural regularity: participating in the enactment of a sanctioning and rewarding mechanism generates different contributory effects, when compared to the case when the mechanism is merely exogenous. Specifically the Participation is a positive effect that significantly reduces the level of free riding.
The aim of this new version is to test whether the contributory gap between theoretical contributions and experimental results is more properly justifiable in terms of pure experimental choices, or, on the contrary, whether the gap is more strictly related to behavioural dynamics. To verify the former hypothesis, an environmental change regarding communication is introduced. To test the latter, empirical and normative expectations are explicitly considered.

Keywords: Public Goods, Participation Effect, Free Riding

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 10, pp.325-354. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.277MB).

Dr. Francesca Bortolami

Researcher - Visiting Professor, IDEAR, Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile


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