Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Private provision of a public good: cooperation and altruism of internet forum users

Ros-Galvez, Alejandro and Rosa-García, Alfonso (2014): Private provision of a public good: cooperation and altruism of internet forum users.

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Abstract

We run an experiment with users of internet message boards. We find that forum users cooperate more with partners of their own forum than with partners from a different forum but they are equally altruistic when they made a gift to a partner of their forum or from another one. We also find that individuals are more active in the forums, the more altruistic they are; however, we find no relation between activity in the forum and cooperation. These results suggest that the public good provided in internet forums is mainly provided by a group of unconditional altruistic group of users, and that the feeling of community supports the cooperation in that provision.

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