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How Groups Reach Agreement In Risky Choices: An Experiment

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  • JINGJING ZHANG
  • MARCO CASARI

Abstract

This paper studies how groups resolve disagreement when they must reach unanimity after submitting individual proposals and exchanging text-form messages via a chat window in lottery choice experiments. We find that the majority proposal does not always prevail. The minority proposal prevails sometimes, especially when it is closer to risk neutrality. About one third of the groups disagrees after communication and would have got zero payoffs if disagreement remains after two more attempts without communication. In these groups, extrovert subjects are more likely to lead the group outcome than confused or conscientious subjects. Overall group choices are more coherent and closer to risk neutrality than individualsÕ. Checking the recorded messages, we find that the chat activity is intense, growing with the level of disagreement and aims at finding consensus. The amount and timing of chat messages help us to predict which choice prevails in the group.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 502-515

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:2:p:502-515

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2009. "Can Groups Solve the Problem of Overbidding in Contests?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-05, McMaster University.
  2. Daniela Di Cagno & Emanuela Sciubba & Marco Spallone, 2012. "Choosing a gambling partner: testing a model of mutual insurance in the lab," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(4), pages 537-571, April.
  3. Bliss, Richard T. & Potter, Mark E. & Schwarz, Christopher, 2012. "Decision making and risk aversion in the Cash Cab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 163-173.
  4. Kugler, Tamar & Kausel, E.E. & Kocher, Martin G., 2012. "Are groups more rational than individuals? A review of interactive decision making in groups," Munich Reprints in Economics 18215, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Filippin, Antonio & Crosetto, Paolo, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 8184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Haoran He & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "Are teams less inequality averse than individuals ?," Working Papers 1417, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  7. Jingjing Zhang, 2012. "Communication in asymmetric group competition over public goods," ECON - Working Papers 069, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

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