Publications (FIS)

Learning about German farmers' willingness to cooperate from public goods games and expert predictions

authored by
Jens Rommel, Christoph Schulze, Bettina Matzdorf, Julian Sagebiel, Vera Wechner

There is a growing interest in collective contracts to address agri-environmental policy goals at landscape scales. Yet, little is known about farmers' general willingness to cooperate. We developed four treatments of a linear public goods game to investigate farmers' willingness to cooperate: (1) heterogeneous endowments, (2) leading-by-example, (3) social norms, and (4) pinpointing the socially optimal solution. Based on a sample of 358 German farmers, we find that contributions reach more than two-thirds of the initial endowment across different treatments on average. Nudging the socially optimal solution is the most effective treatment. In addition to the experiment, we elicited incentivized predictions on experimental outcomes from 212 experts. Expert beliefs on treatment effects appear to be calibrated on laboratory studies, highlighting the need to conduct, communicate, and discuss experimental studies outside the laboratory. Young female academics with an Economics background most accurately predict farmers' behaviour in the experiment.

Institute of Environmental Planning
External Organisation(s)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Q Open
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Food Science, Development, Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous), Economics and Econometrics, Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)