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Theories of commitment, altruism, and reciprocity have been invoked to explain and describe behavior in public goods and social dilemma situations. Commitment has been used to explain behaviors like water conservation and voting. Altruism has been applied to explain contributions to charities and intergenerational transfers and bequests. Reciprocity has been invoked to explain gift exchange and labor market decisions. This paper describes a set of experiments, which distinguish between these competing theories by testing their comparative statics predictions in a linear public goods setting. Results provide strong support for reciprocity theories over either theories of commitment or of altruism.
(Postprint statement) This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Croson, R. T. (2007). Theories of commitment, altruism and reciprocity: Evidence from linear public goods games. Economic Inquiry, 45(2), 199-216., which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2006.00006.x/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving [link to http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms].
Croson, R. (2007). Theories of Commitment, Altruism and Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games. Economic Inquiry, 45 (2), 199-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2006.00006.x
Date Posted: 27 November 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.