Do market and trust contexts spillover into public goods contributions? Evidence from experimental games in Papua New Guinea

Rojas, Cristian, and Cinner, Joshua (2020) Do market and trust contexts spillover into public goods contributions? Evidence from experimental games in Papua New Guinea. Ecological Economics, 174. 106661.

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The provision of public goods, such as voluntary enforcement efforts, can be critical to the management of natural resources. However, the degree to which context can influence people's contributions to the public good is poorly understood. Here, we used sequential games in a 'lab in the field' experimental setting with a fishing community in Papua New Guinea to explore whether behavior in two particular contexts-market and trust-spill over public goods' contributions. Behavioral spillovers occur when behavior in one context influences-or is transferred to-behavior in another context. Our results indicate that there is spillover, but surprisingly this occurs from specific roles assumed within the context rather than the broader context itself. The existence of behavioral spillovers into public goods can render conservation initiatives that rely on contributions ineffective, or even damaging if they crowd out intrinsic behavior. Understanding the potential biases different context-e.g. markets created by market-based instruments or trust relied upon by community-based mechanism-can create, is necessary for the implementation of effective and efficient conservation initiatives.

Item ID: 63486
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6106
Keywords: Public goods game, Behavioral spillovers, Markets, Trust
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Pew Charitable Trusts, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems
Projects and Grants: ARC FT160100047, ARC CE140100020
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2020 07:32
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified @ 20%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380106 Experimental economics @ 80%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 20%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 80%
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