Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 11 No. 4 (Fall 1997)


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Classroom Games: Voluntary Provision of a Public Good

Article Citation

Holt, Charles A., and Susan K. Laury. 1997. "Classroom Games: Voluntary Provision of a Public Good." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(4): 209-215.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.4.209


This paper describes a simple public goods game, implemented with playing cards in a classroom setup. Students choose whether to contribute to the provision of a public good in a situation where it is privately optimal not to contribute, but socially optimal to contribute fully. This exercise motivates discussion of altruism, strategies for private fund-raising, and the role of government in resolving the public good problem.

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Holt, Charles A. (U VA)
Laury, Susan K. (U SC)

JEL Classifications

H41: Public Goods
D64: Altruism


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