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Conditional Cooperation: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control

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Author Info

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.

    ()
    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, Germany)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

When facing the opportunity to allocate resources between oneself and others, individuals may experience a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and preferences to act pro-socially. We explore the domain of conditional cooperation, and we test the hypothesis that increased expectations about others’ average contribution increases own contributions to public goods more when self-control is high than when it is low. We pair a subtle framing technique with a public goods experiment. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that conditionally cooperative behavior is stronger (i.e., less imperfect) when expectations of high contributions are accompanied by high levels of self-control.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/23048
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 459.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 05 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0459

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: Self-control; Pro-social behavior; Public good experiment; Conditional cooperation;

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References

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  1. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 389, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2006.
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  3. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
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  7. Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2010. "Reconciling pro-social versus selfish behavior: Evidence for the role of self-control," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-003 (R1), ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 09 Jul 2010.
  8. Martinsson, Peter & Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2010. "Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior - Evidence for the Role of Self-Control," Working Papers in Economics 445, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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  15. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  16. repec:feb:artefa:0105 is not listed on IDEAS
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