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The Role of Choice in Social Dilemma Experiments

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  • Frank P. Maier-Rigaud
  • Jose Apesteguia

Abstract

On the basis of problems related to asymmetric information, self-governance has been proposed and often empirically found to be superior to the external imposition of rules in social dilemma situations. The present paper suggests and experimentally analyses a different line of argument, namely to what extent behavioral aspects can explain these findings. We study this hypothesis using the simplest, most general dilemma form: the prisoner's dilemma (PD). We compare behavior when players are given the possibility of choosing between two different representations of the same PD, to behavior when players are externally assigned to play a specific game. We find that cooperation rates are significantly higher in the games that were chosen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse22_2003.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse22_2003

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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

Related research

Keywords: Freedom of Choice; Self-governance; Social Dilemmas; Framing;

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References

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  1. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "Freedom of choice : Concept and content," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 269-294, March.
  2. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
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  7. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1998. "Public good provision and public bad prevention: The effect of framing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 143-161, January.
  8. James Andreoni, 1994. "Warm-Glow versus Cold-Prickle: The Effects of Positive and Negative Framing on Cooperation in Experiments," Experimental 9410002, EconWPA.
  9. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, December.
  10. Roth, Alvin E, 1988. "Laboratory Experimentation in Economics: A Methodological Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 974-1031, December.
  11. Merrill M. Flood, 1958. "Some Experimental Games," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(1), pages 5-26, October.
  12. repec:att:wimass:9102 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  14. Selten, Reinhard, . "Features of Experimentally Observed Bounded Rationality," Discussion Paper Serie B 421, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Nov 1997.
  15. R. Cookson, 2000. "Framing Effects in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 55-79, June.
  16. Druckman, James N., 2001. "Evaluating framing effects," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 91-101, February.
  17. Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Xu, Yongsheng, 2000. "On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Economic Environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 48-71, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Maier-Rigaud, Frank P. & Martinsson, Peter & Staffiero, Gianandrea, 2010. "Ostracism and the provision of a public good: experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 387-395, March.
  2. Königstein, Manfred & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2005. "The Choice of the Agenda in Labor Negotiations: Efficiency and Behavioral Considerations," IZA Discussion Papers 1762, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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