Workers' propensity to cooperate with colleagues and the general population: a comparison based on a field experiment
AbstractExperimental evidence shows that people tend to be more cooperative with persons belonging to their own group than with others. Strangely enough, this literature largely fails to consider a type of group pervasive in modern societies: colleagues belonging to the same productive organization. This is particularly curious if one considers the importance of cooperation among colleagues for the economic performance of organizations. This paper carries out an original experimental analysis which compares the level of cooperation of social cooperative workers when they are paired with colleagues and with people from the general population. In contrast with the literature on in-group favoritism, we find that workers trust their colleagues less and cooperate less with them than they do with people from the general public, even though, in absolute terms, the level of cooperation is quite high also among colleagues. By analyzing first- and second-order beliefs, we show that the difference in cooperation is partly mediated by expectations concerning the counterpart's behavior, since workers expect their colleagues to be less cooperative than members of the general public. However, the analysis reveals that also other motivations count, such as other-regarding preferences and warm glow.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Econometica in its series Econometica Working Papers with number wp50.
Date of creation: Oct 2013
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social cooperatives; field experiment; social dilemmas; in-group favoritism; trust; beliefs;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs
- P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-10-18 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2013-10-18 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-10-18 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HME-2013-10-18 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-HRM-2013-10-18 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-SOC-2013-10-18 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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