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Fischbacher, Urs; Schudy, Simeon; Teyssier, Sabrina (2013): Heterogeneous reactions to heterogeneity in returns from public goods. In: Social Choice and Welfare: pp. 1-23
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In many cases individuals benefit differently from the provision of a public good. We study in a laboratory experiment how heterogeneity in returns and uncertainty about the own return affects unconditional and conditional contribution behavior in a linear public goods game. The elicitation of conditional contributions in combination with a within subject design allows us to investigate belief-independent and type-specific reactions to heterogeneity. We find that, on average, heterogeneity in returns decreases unconditional contributions but affects contributions only weakly. Uncertainty in addition to heterogeneity reduces conditional contributions slightly. Individual reactions to heterogeneity differ systematically. Selfish subjects and one third of conditional cooperators do not react to heterogeneity whereas the reactions of the remaining conditional cooperators vary. A substantial part of heterogeneity in reactions can be explained by inequity aversion with respect to different reference groups.