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The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation

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  • Jeannette Brosig
  • Joachim Weimann
  • Axel Ockenfels

Abstract

We examine how communication affects cooperation with the help of seven standard public goods experiments that only differ with respect to the medium of pre-play communication. Our treatments include bidirectional and unidirectional communication via (mostly electronic) auditory and/or visual channels. The results suggest that successful cooperation is attributable to the opportunity of 'coordinating' behavior in the communication phase. Furthermore, both the level and the stability of cooperation significantly interact with the communication medium, even though the content of communication is remarkably similar across the communication treatments. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 4 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 217-241

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:4:y:2003:i:2:p:217-241

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  1. Brosig, Jeannette, 2002. "Identifying cooperative behavior: some experimental results in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-290, March.
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  7. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-27, December.
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  15. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  16. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  17. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
  18. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
  19. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  20. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
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  22. Sefton, Martin & Steinberg, Richard, 1996. "Reward structures in public good experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-287, August.
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