Giving at the close: Experimental evidence on cooperation in contributing to a public good

Yuval Arbel, Ronen Bar-El, Mordechai E. Schwarz, Yossef Tobol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present a simple dynamic model of contributions to a public good. We test the model by conducting a public good game experiment and fundraising experiment among religious Jewish students for the procurement of sustainable supplies for their campus synagogue. The results of the experiments show a high level of cooperation; particularly, the results of the public good experiment show that contributions are above the predicted optimum. Nevertheless, in accordance with the economic theory, we find that the contribution path is upward sloping and contributions increase with the benefit of the public good. Our findings also suggest that the level of contributions and their path are affected by peer and gender effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1199
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Public Economic Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


We are grateful for comments received from Rabah Amir, Ted Bergstrom, Eran Menes, Steven Slutsky, Gideon Yaniv, two anonymous referees, and from the seminar participants in APET 15, Bar-Ilan University, The Open University of Israel, and the Jerusalem College of Technology. Any errors are solely those of the authors. We also would like to thank the Research authority of the Open University of Israel for financing this study.

FundersFunder number
Jerusalem College of Technology
Open University of Israel


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