Heterogenous demand for public goods: Behavior in the voluntary contributions mechanism

Joseph Fisher, R. Mark Isaac, Jeffrey W. Schatzberg, James M. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Numerous laboratory experiments have investigated the performance of several processes for providing public goods through voluntary contributions. This research has been able to identify features of the institution or environment which are reliably likely to produce outcomes "close" to the free riding outcome or "substantially" greater than the pessimistic prediction of standard models. One such feature is the "marginal per-capita return" (MPCR) from the public good. Various authors have altered MPCR between groups or for an entire group at the same time. The experiments reported here address a different question, "What would happen if, within a group, some persons faced a 'high' MPCR while others faced a 'low' MPCR?"

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-266
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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