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

Abstract:
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.