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Rules and Efficiency in collective choices : an experimental approach

Abstract : This thesis contains three essays on cooperation, observed through the contributions in the Public Good Game. In the first chapter, I survey the literature on heterogeneity in linear Public Good Games. I distinguish two kinds of heterogeneity: heterogeneity in endowment and heterogeneity in return from the public good (i.e. MPCR). Despite a normative conflict exacerbated, heterogeneous agents contribute as much as homogeneous agents to the public good. Are they able to use mechanisms to reach efficiency (i.e. a full provision of the public good)? I find mixed evidence. Agents heterogeneous in endowment are able to govern themselves and to reach efficiency while agents heterogeneous in MPCR do not perfectly overcome the underprovision problem.In the second chapter, co-written with Adam Zylbersztejn, we investigate the effects of environmental risk on cooperation. We call an environmental risk a situation in which the return of the public good is risky at the time of the decision. We consider, in our experiment, two kinds of risk: an individual one (i.e. the MPCR is determined independently for each group member) and a collective one (i.e. the MPCR is the same for each group member). We find that risk does not affect cooperation: subjects do not contribute to the public good differently when the MPCR is certain or when it is risky.In the third chapter, I investigate the effects of a mechanism based on within-group competition to provide public goods. In my experimental treatments, agents compete for a higher MPCR from the public good. The rank in the competition - and therefore the MPCR - depends on how one’s contribution ranks within the group. I find that competition improves public goods provision only when it does not generate too large inequalities.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 4, 2019 - 3:44:15 PM
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Vincent Theroude. Rules and Efficiency in collective choices : an experimental approach. Economics and Finance. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE2043⟩. ⟨tel-02345611⟩

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