Sharing as Risk Pooling in a Social Dilemma Experiment
AbstractIn rural economies with missing or incomplete markets, idiosyncratic risk is frequently pooled through informal networks. Idiosyncratic shocks, however, are not limited to private goods but can also restrict an individual from partaking in or benefitting from a collective activity. In these situations, a group must decide whether to provide insurance to the affected member. In this paper, we describe results of a laboratory experiment designed to test whether a simple sharing institution can sustain risk pooling in a social dilemma with idiosyncratic risk. We test whether risk can be pooled without a commitment device and, separately, whether effective risk pooling induces greater cooperation in the social dilemma. We find that even in the absence of a commitment device or reputational considerations, subjects voluntarily pool risk thereby reducing variance in individual earnings. In spite of effective risk pooling, however, cooperation in the social dilemma is unaffected.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-01.
Date of creation: Apr 2012
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lab experiment; public goods; risk; shock; sharing;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-04-23 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-04-23 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-04-23 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2012-04-23 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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