The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods under Varying Endowment Distributions: Experimental Evidence

"Field experience suggests that the management of a common property resource may be facilitated if there is a large stakeholder among the agents who are trying to manage the resource. The successful management of a common property resource can be viewed as the provision of a public good, for each user of the resource benefits from its proper management, and each has a private incentive to withdraw his contributions from the management of the resource. "Theory suggests that the distribution of individual resource endowments may affect the voluntary contributions individuals will make towards the provision of a public good (or maintenance of a common property resource). This paper presents the results of a series of laboratory sessions in which individuals are able to make voluntary contributions to an activity which will result in 'group' benefits (comparable to the maintenance of the common property resource). Five different distributions of endowments are studies. Preliminary results suggest that as the distribution of endowments becomes more equal, the total voluntary contributions towards the maintenance of the public good falls."
game theory, common pool resources--models, public goods and bads, IASC