Special Issue "Public Good Games"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 May 2018) | Viewed by 55903

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Edward Cartwright
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
Interests: game theory; public economics; experimental economics; cyber-security
Dr. Federica Alberti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Finance, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
Interests: behavioural economics; experimental economics; game theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Games is dedicated to public good games. Potential topics include, but are by no means limited to, heterogeneity in giving behavior, the influence of social norms, punishment, exclusion, or framing on efficiency in providing public goods, learning in games, evolutionary origins of cooperation and strategic leadership. We also welcome submissions on relevant applications such as charitable giving, crowdfunding and environmental issues. Both theoretical and experimental contributions will be considered. Well motivated literature reviews or appraisals of existing literature are also welcomed.

Dr. Edward Cartwright
Dr. Federica Alberti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • public good
  • threshold public good
  • charitable giving
  • crowdfunding
  • learning in games
  • cooperation
  • conditional cooperation
  • game theory

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Article
Determinants of Borrowers’ Default in P2P Lending under Consideration of the Loan Risk Class
Games 2018, 9(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9040082 - 12 Oct 2018
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6165
Abstract
We study the determinants of borrowers’ default in P2P lending with a new data set consisting of 70,673 loan observations from the Lending Club. Previous research identified a number of default determining variables but did not distinguish between different loan risk levels. We [...] Read more.
We study the determinants of borrowers’ default in P2P lending with a new data set consisting of 70,673 loan observations from the Lending Club. Previous research identified a number of default determining variables but did not distinguish between different loan risk levels. We define four loan risk classes and test the significance of the default determining variables within each loan risk class. Our findings suggest that the significance of most variables depends on the loan risk class. Only a few variables are consistently significant across all risk classes. The debt-to-income ratio, inquiries in the past six months and a loan intended for a small business are positively correlated with the default rate. Annual income and credit card as loan purpose are negatively correlated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
Article
When Is Green Too Rosy? Evidence from a Laboratory Market Experiment on Green Goods and Externalities
Games 2018, 9(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030070 - 14 Sep 2018
Viewed by 4189
Abstract
In a context where sustainable consumption and production need to be encouraged, economic experiments can provide significant insights into how individuals consider environmental externalities in their choices and how public policy can foster the environmental public good. Experimental studies aiming to evaluate market [...] Read more.
In a context where sustainable consumption and production need to be encouraged, economic experiments can provide significant insights into how individuals consider environmental externalities in their choices and how public policy can foster the environmental public good. Experimental studies aiming to evaluate market mitigation of externalities through the provision of green goods usually choose to adopt neutral language in terms of framing. Our study implements an incentivized economics experiment to explore how supply and demand consider negative externalities. Furthermore, the study addresses the impact of using non-abstract wording when describing negative externalities. Two types of goods can be produced and bought, namely goods generating negative externalities on other consumers (either labelled as B or brown) and goods that cause no harm to others (either labelled A or green). We conclude that the provision of green goods increases from 18.1% in the abstract frame to 70% in the environmental frame. Framing is, therefore, a relevant variable for the outcome of this experimental market. This has important implications for economic experiments aiming to evaluate pro-environmental behaviours and provide policy orientations for the provision of green goods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Cooperation of Pairs
Games 2018, 9(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030068 - 11 Sep 2018
Viewed by 4233
Abstract
To examine the stability of prosocial behavior in groups and pairs, we use an indirect approach. We conducted linear public good experiments with two and four subjects repeatedly three times at intervals of one week. All experiments were carried out without providing feedback [...] Read more.
To examine the stability of prosocial behavior in groups and pairs, we use an indirect approach. We conducted linear public good experiments with two and four subjects repeatedly three times at intervals of one week. All experiments were carried out without providing feedback and used a payment mechanism promoting stable behavior. We study the dynamics of behavior in repeated sessions and find that pairs are much better at establishing and stabilizing cooperation than groups of four. Furthermore, we conducted all experiments in a partner and a stranger design. As is known from the literature, cooperation in a stranger design should be lower than in a partner design. Once again, we are interested in the differences of the strength of this cooperation reducing effect between pairs and groups. Unlike pairs, groups show very low contributions to the public good in the stranger treatment and display a strong tendency to decrease cooperation in the partner treatment. The results in all treatments demonstrate that decreasing cooperation is a stable pattern of behavior in dynamic social dilemma contexts. Finally, we conducted a norm elicitation experiment using a method introduced by Krupka and Weber (2013) and find that in pairs symmetric behavior plays a very important role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
The Effects of Social Exclusion and Group Heterogeneity on the Provision of Public Goods
Games 2018, 9(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030055 - 01 Aug 2018
Viewed by 3703
Abstract
The multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion requires several perspectives in understanding its causes and consequences. Focus on the topic is largely centred around questions of material deprivation. However, as poverty and inequality are inextricably linked to questions of access and inclusion, a holistic [...] Read more.
The multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion requires several perspectives in understanding its causes and consequences. Focus on the topic is largely centred around questions of material deprivation. However, as poverty and inequality are inextricably linked to questions of access and inclusion, a holistic approach is required. Consequently, we explore how imposed relational asymmetries which manifest as differences in the ability to exercise personal agency and in turn, engender wealth inequalities, affect social cooperation in future interactions. To do this, we generate wealth inequalities through two Prisoner’s Dilemma games, where one party is excluded from participating in the determination of the outcomes of the game. The effects of this asymmetry in social participation on ex post cooperation is examined using a Public Goods game. We find that the presence of prior asymmetric influence in social decision-making subsequently reduces contributions to the public good, independent of endowment level. This reduction in social welfare is driven by the under-contribution from players who were excluded in prior social interactions. Simply put, the data shows that a history of social exclusion reduces subsequent public goods provision, independent of material inequality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Peer-Punishment in a Cooperation and a Coordination Game
Games 2018, 9(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030054 - 30 Jul 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4237
Abstract
We elicit individual-level peer-punishment types in a cooperation (social dilemma) and a coordination (weakest link) problem. In line with previous literature, we find heterogeneity in peer-punishment in both environments. Comparing punishment behavior across the two environments within subject, we observe a high [...] Read more.
We elicit individual-level peer-punishment types in a cooperation (social dilemma) and a coordination (weakest link) problem. In line with previous literature, we find heterogeneity in peer-punishment in both environments. Comparing punishment behavior across the two environments within subject, we observe a high degree of individuals’ punishment type stability. However, the aggregate punishment demand is higher in the weakest-link game. The difference between the two environments is driven by subjects whose behavioral types are inconsistent rather than by a change in the punishment demand of those who punish in both environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Cooperation and Strategic Complementarity: An Experiment with Two Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Games with Interior Equilibria
Games 2018, 9(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030045 - 07 Jul 2018
Viewed by 3762
Abstract
In public goods game experiments, designs implementing non-linearities in the production are less common than the standard linear setting, especially so under the assumption that the private goods production and public goods aggregation function are both non-linear. We study a voluntary contribution game [...] Read more.
In public goods game experiments, designs implementing non-linearities in the production are less common than the standard linear setting, especially so under the assumption that the private goods production and public goods aggregation function are both non-linear. We study a voluntary contribution game (VCM) in which returns from the private project have diminishing marginal benefits and the contributions to the joint project exhibit pairwise strategic complementarities. As a control, we use a public goods game with an identical private production technology, but with the standard linear public goods aggregation. In addition to the aggregation technology, we manipulate the group size variable: In both treatments, the subjects will first play a VCM game in groups of five for 20 rounds, after which the group size is reduced to two, and the game is played for another 20 rounds. A significant over-contribution is observed in both settings when the group size is five. The rate of over-contribution is much higher under the complementary technology, but as predicted by theory, the contributions drop drastically when the group size is reduced from n = 5 to n = 2 within this treatment. Our experiment also provides empirical evidence that the so-called group size effect is present in both treatments, but it is much weaker under the standard aggregation technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Dynamic Contributions to a Public Project: The Impact of Rising Marginal Benefit and Completion Benefits
Games 2018, 9(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030043 - 01 Jul 2018
Viewed by 3618
Abstract
Many public projects are funded in a dynamic manner in which contributors are able to make gradual increases in contributions and condition additional contributions on the cooperation of others. This study presents results from experiments in which subjects with an initial fixed endowment [...] Read more.
Many public projects are funded in a dynamic manner in which contributors are able to make gradual increases in contributions and condition additional contributions on the cooperation of others. This study presents results from experiments in which subjects with an initial fixed endowment make contributions to a public project gradually over a series of rounds. A 2 × 2 experimental design is used to examine the effectiveness of multiple thresholds that once crossed increase the marginal benefit of a contribution to the public project and the existence of a completion benefit upon project completion. Results reveal that when the multiple threshold design is combined with a completion benefit, overall contributions and project completion rates increase relative to other treatments. Without the presence of a completion benefit, contributions in the multiple threshold design are not significantly different from a constant marginal benefit design. In addition, completion benefits are shown to strongly encourage additional cooperation and project completion. Finally, projects are more likely to be completed when substantial contributions occur in the early rounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
The Optimal Strategy in the Minimum Effort Game
Games 2018, 9(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030042 - 29 Jun 2018
Viewed by 3782
Abstract
A simple expression is derived for the optimal strategy in the minimum effort game. This maps from player beliefs to an optimal effort level. From this expression the set of Nash equilibria in the game is fully characterized. All Nash equilibria are symmetric [...] Read more.
A simple expression is derived for the optimal strategy in the minimum effort game. This maps from player beliefs to an optimal effort level. From this expression the set of Nash equilibria in the game is fully characterized. All Nash equilibria are symmetric and involve at most two actions being played with positive probability. We discuss how our expression for the optimal strategy can help inform on the comparative statics of a change in the number of players and effort cost benefit ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
To Tender or Not to Tender? Deliberate and Exogenous Sunk Costs in a Public Good Game
Games 2018, 9(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030041 - 26 Jun 2018
Viewed by 3747
Abstract
In an experimental study, we compare individual willingness to cooperate in a public good game after an initial team contest phase. While players in the treatment setup make a conscious decision on how much to invest in the contest, this decision is exogenously [...] Read more.
In an experimental study, we compare individual willingness to cooperate in a public good game after an initial team contest phase. While players in the treatment setup make a conscious decision on how much to invest in the contest, this decision is exogenously imposed on players in the control setup. As such, both groups of players incur sunk costs and enter the public good game with different wealth levels. Our results indicate that the way these sunk costs have been accrued matters especially for groups on the losing side of the contest: Given the same level of sunk costs, contributions to the public good are lower for groups which failed to be successful in the preceding between-group contest. Furthermore, this detrimental effect is more pronounced for individuals who play a contest with deliberate contributions before. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
A Survey on the Design of Gamified Systems for Energy and Water Sustainability
Games 2018, 9(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030038 - 21 Jun 2018
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5010
Abstract
In a world affected by the constant growth and concentration of the population in urban areas, the problem of preserving natural resources has become a priority. A promising approach to resource conservation is demand management, i.e., the ability to positively influence the behaviour [...] Read more.
In a world affected by the constant growth and concentration of the population in urban areas, the problem of preserving natural resources has become a priority. A promising approach to resource conservation is demand management, i.e., the ability to positively influence the behaviour of the population towards more sustainable consumption. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools have shown a great potential in influencing consumers’ behaviour, which could be exploited for the common good. However, the design of so-called persuasive systems for environmental purposes is a challenging task, because it cannot be based solely on the utilitarian motivation of users, but must be able to trigger a broader range of engagement factors deeply rooted in the human psychology. In this paper, we review the main design principles and models at the base of a class of persuasive system that exploits gamification and Games with a Purpose (GWAPs) to engage users towards sustainability; we identify the most commonly used incentive mechanisms for inducing behavioural changes; and present a selection of gamified systems for energy and water conservation. From such a survey, we distill design guidelines to be applied in the design of demand management socio-technical systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Conditional Cooperation and Framing Effects
Games 2018, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9020037 - 11 Jun 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3556
Abstract
This paper presents evidence from a lab experiment investigating whether the preeminence of conditional cooperators in studies using the method of Fischbacher, Gächter and Fehr (2001, Economics Letters) is sensitive to changes in the experimental frame. The treatments vary the framing such [...] Read more.
This paper presents evidence from a lab experiment investigating whether the preeminence of conditional cooperators in studies using the method of Fischbacher, Gächter and Fehr (2001, Economics Letters) is sensitive to changes in the experimental frame. The treatments vary the framing such that the salience of conditionality to subjects is reduced. The results show that these manipulations affect the distribution of elicited types. However, there is no evidence that the framing of Fischbacher et al. overestimates the fraction of conditional cooperators compared to the other frames considered in the experiment. Furthermore, this research finds that conditional contributions elicited using the Fischbacher et al. (2001) frame are the most consistent with contributions in a one-shot public good game. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Explaining Public Goods Game Contributions with Rational Ability
Games 2018, 9(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9020036 - 10 Jun 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4193
Abstract
As the link between psychology and economics has grown, so too has research on the link between personality traits and economic behavior. We build on this previous work, bringing to light the relationship between personality traits and contributions in a one-shot public goods [...] Read more.
As the link between psychology and economics has grown, so too has research on the link between personality traits and economic behavior. We build on this previous work, bringing to light the relationship between personality traits and contributions in a one-shot public goods game. We find that contributions to the public good are smaller for rational participants as measured by the Rational-Experiential Inventory—revised 40 (REI-40) item scale. We find no effect on contributions for the measures of the Big Five personality traits or the remaining measures from the REI-40. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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Article
Public-Goods Games with Endogenous Institution-Formation: Experimental Evidence on the Effect of the Voting Rule
Games 2017, 8(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/g8040052 - 02 Dec 2017
Viewed by 4605
Abstract
We report experimental results on voluntary contributions to public-goods provision from situations in which parties can create institutions to impose a certain contribution level on its members. We focus on a public-goods game where the joint decisions inside the institution are made based [...] Read more.
We report experimental results on voluntary contributions to public-goods provision from situations in which parties can create institutions to impose a certain contribution level on its members. We focus on a public-goods game where the joint decisions inside the institution are made based on the plurality voting rule. We show that, comparing to the unanimity voting rule, the plurality rule results in a significant and large decrease in the institution initiation rate, along with a significant and large increase in the institution implementation rate. In the end, as the two effects cancel each other out, the choice of the voting rule does not significantly affect the average contribution level or efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
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