Communication and Free Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism

Subsequently published as: "Group Size Hypotheses of Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. CIII, February 1988, 179-200 "One of the most commonly discussed problems in resource allocation literature is the so called 'free rider' hypothesis for the production of public goods. Briefly, the economic premise is that agents, acting in their own self interest, will under-reveal demand, thus leading to an under allocation of resources to the public good, As reported in Isaac, Walker and Thomas (1984), hereafter IWT, there is a growing body of experimental literature aimed at examining the degree to which 'free-riding' behavior can be observed in true public good environments. More specific to the problem investigated here is that segment of this work which focuses on identifying those environmental characteristics which influence the level of free riding behavior in the particular context of the voluntary contribution mechanism. From this previous work and after further experimental investigation."
Workshop, free riding--models, volunteerism, resource management--economics, experimental economics