Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Professor Sara Solnick

Second Advisor

Professor Catalina Vizcarra

Third Advisor

Professor Melissa Willard-Foster


Public Goods Game, COVID-19


Can someone’s willingness to contribute to a public good or charity be associated with their attitudes and behavior towards COVID-19 regulations? This experimental economics paper examines the connection between cooperation with regulations and charitable giving using a public goods game. While many studies have looked at what affects contributions in public goods games and many others have examined charitable givings outside the laboratory setting, few studies have examined if and how contributions in a public goods game and outside the laboratory setting are related.

The COVID-19 Pandemic created a unique opportunity to study the relationship between subjects’ decisions inside and outside the public goods game. Subjects’ attitudes and behavior toward COVID-19 protocols were measured using a survey that asked them about their attitudes and behavior toward various situations that could arise during the Pandemic. Willingness to contribute to public goods and charities were measured using a public goods game, which utilized veconlab’s Experimental Economics website. The answers given in the survey and the actions in the public goods game were compared to determine if there is a relationship between the willingness to contribute in a public goods game and one’s desire to contribute to lower levels of COVID-19 circulation.

This study finds a relationship between peoples’ actions inside and outside the laboratory. However, this paper finds a significant negative relationship between subjects’ behaviors towards COVID-19 outside the laboratory and their actions inside the laboratory. In contrast, there is a mostly significant positive relationship between peoples’ attitudes towards COVID-19 and their actions inside the laboratory.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.