The Provision of Transnational and Intergenerational Public Goods
with Lea Skræp Svenningsen and Bo Jellesmark Thorsen
Are individuals more likely to contribute to public goods provision when benefits from contribution cross national borders and generations? Running simultaneous intercountry experiments in Denmark, Spain and Ghana, we modify the standard public goods game to allow present contributions to affect individuals in other countries and from future generations. We test these modifications separately and jointly. We also test two ways in which present generations can affect future generations: the present can either improve the future's institutions or increase the future's income. Our results show that: i) Danes and Spaniards contribute more to national rather than transnational public goods, and ii) Danes and Spaniards contribute more to public goods provision when they are able to affect future generations. In particular, Danish contributions to transnational public goods increase when they are able to affect future institutions while Spanish contributions to both national and transnational public goods increase when they are able to affect future endowments. We find no effect for Ghana from any of our treatment variations.