The limit to behavioral inertia and the power of default in voluntary contribution games
Riyanto, Yohanes Eko
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
It is well documented that people are reluctant to switch from a default option. We experimentally test the robustness of this behavioral inertia in a collective decision-making setting by varying the default option type and the decision-making environment. We examine the impacts of automatic-participation and no-participation default options on subjects’ participation in a public goods provision and their contributions. Two variants of public goods game are employed: the linear and the threshold public goods games. The study shows the evidence of partial stickiness rather than complete stickiness of default options as indicated in empirical studies. Our experimental results square with the evidence of behavioral inertia only when the automatic-participation default is used. This default boosts contributions in the linear public goods game but not in the threshold public goods game. The evidence of partial stickiness is robust to the variation of the game employed, but the effect on contribution is sensitive to it.
Social Choice and Welfare
© 2017 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.