Conditional Cooperation in Students’ Stated Contributions to a Public Good
24 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2013
Date Written: April 16, 2013
We analyze a survey of 559 students to investigate how information about peers affects individuals’ stated contributions to a specific pro-environment program — a student “green fee.” Compared to students that receive no information about peer contributions, the students that receive information about the dollar value range of contributions at peer institutions contribute less on average while the students that learn about the high percentage of students voting “yes” on green fee programs at peer institutions contribute more on average. These results support a hypothesis of conditional cooperation and are consistent with motivations for voluntary contributions of reciprocity and conformity. We also find that there are positive associations between 1) individuals’ extent of pro-environment behaviors and their stated contributions and 2) individuals’ certainty that their vote will matter and their stated contributions.
Keywords: conditional cooperation, reciprocity, conformity, public good, referendum
JEL Classification: Q50, H41, C9
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation