Free-Rider Problem in Classroom Games - Impact of Gender and Intergroup Conditions
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Behavioural experiments in the field of provision of public goods (including free rider problem) help to uncover the underlying processes and forces determining the nature of economy in the public sector. The objective of this paper is to determine the impact of gender and intergroup conditions on the extent of cooperation in standard linear public goods game using the voluntary contribution mechanism. Design of the teaching experiment is based on the methodology of Špalek (2011) with some modification. There were 80 undergraduate students of business participating in the classroom game, age range 20-22 years. Students were divided into three independent groups by 26 to 27 participants. Each group was playing independently, and individual strategies were recorded. We used the nonparametric tests (Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis Test) to analyse the differences between the gender and groups. Findings do not show statistically significant difference based on gender. On the other hand, the intergroup conditions determined by the social dynamics and discussion have significant influence on the distribution of goods. Results bring strong evidence on the importance of social and political factors influencing the pro-social behaviour in the society.