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Birth, death and public good provision


We explore the effect of fixed versus dynamic group membership on public good provision. In a novel experimental design, we modify the traditional voluntary contribution mechanism (VCM) by periodically replacing old members of a group with new members over time. Under this dynamic, overlapping generations matching protocol we find that average contributions experience significantly less decay over time relative to a traditional VCM environment with fixed group membership and a common termination date. These findings suggest that the traditional pattern of contribution and decay seen in many public goods experiments may not accurately reflect behavior in groups with changing membership, as is the case in many real-world environments.

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