Voting and Contributing While the Group is Watching
Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers
Paris : Département d'économie de Sciences Po
Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2018-11
Image concern, Voting, Public good
Members of groups and organizations often have to decide on rules that regulate their contributions to common tasks. They typically differ in their propensity to contribute and often care about the image they project: in particular, they want to be perceived by other group members as being high contributors. In such environments we study, from both a positive and normative perspective, the interaction between the way members vote on rules and their subsequent contribution decisions. We show how endogenous norms can emerge. We study in particular the role played by the visibility of individual actions, votes or contributions. While making votes visible always increases welfare in our setting, making contributions public can be welfare decreasing as it makes some rules more likely to be rejected.