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Incorporating Motivational Heterogeneity into Game Theoretic Models of Collective Action

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ahn, Toh-Kyeong; Ostrom, Elinor; Walker, James M.
Conference: 2002 Meeting of the Public Choice Society
Location: San Diego, CA
Conf. Date: March 22-24, 2002
Date: 2002
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1186
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): social dilemmas--models
game theory
collective action--models
Abstract: Subsequently published as: "Incorporating Motivational Heterogeneity into Game Theoretic Models of Collective Action." Public Choice, 117, 2003, 295-315. "Understanding cooperation in the context of social dilemma games is fundamental to understanding how alternative institutional arrangements may foster collective action in such settings. An abundance of experimental evidence is inconsistent with predictions from game theoretic models based strictly on self-regarding utilities. In recent years, scholars have turned to alternative representations of utility in an attempt to capture motivational heterogeneity across individuals. In the research reported here, we examine two models of heterogeneous utility, linear-altruism and inequity-aversion, as complements to the standard model based on purely self-interested motivations. We examine these models in the contest of two-person social dilemma games. In addition, we examine data from experiments and survey instruments that provide evidence related to the empirical robustness of models based on different types of players characterized by heterogeneous utility functions."

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