Civic Engagement as a Second-Order Public Good: An Experiment

The paper presented is written by Louis Putterman, Kenju Kamei (Durham University), and Jean-Robert Tyran (University of Vienna).

Putterman's info page at Brown University

Effective states solve the problem of financing provision of public goods by mandating contributions in the form of taxes and imposing penalties for non-compliance. However, a state that is answerable to its citizens is itself a public good requiring voluntary collective action—for example, information-seeking and voting—for its own provision. We study the voluntary cooperative underpinnings of the formal sanction imposing state in a new laboratory experiment.