Working Paper BETA #2009-01

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Title : Voluntary participation and cooperation in a collective-good game

Author(s) : Kene Boun My, Benoît Chalvignac

Abstract : We study the effect of voluntary participation in the context of a collective-good experiment. We investigate whether the freedom to participate in the game or not increases contribution levels and enhances their evolution. The analysis of two voluntary participation treatments supports a positive effect of an attractive exit option on both contribution levels and their sustainability. We conclude that the voluntary contribution mechanism can provide sustainable cooperation levels and that the usually observed decay of average contribution levels can be counteracted by voluntary participation in the game.

Key-words : Collective Goods; Cooperation; Voluntary participation ; Laboratory experiments

JEL Classification : H41; C92