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Cooperation In Viscous Populations - Experimental Evidence

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Author Info

  • Friederike Mengel

    ()
    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Veronika Grimm

    ()
    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the effect of population viscosity (an increased probability to interact with others of one's type or group) on cooperation in a standard prisoner's dilemma environment. Subjects can repeatedly choose between two groups that differ in the defector gain in the associated prisoner's dilemma. Choosing into the group with the smaller defector-gain can signal one's willingness to cooperate. The degree of viscosity is varied across treatments. We find that viscosity produces an endogenous sorting of cooperators and defectors and persistently high rates ofcooperation. Higher viscosity leads to a sharp increase in overall cooperation rates and in addition positively affects the subjects' intrinsic willingness to cooperate.

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File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2007-17.pdf
File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2007-17.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2007-17

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Keywords: Experiments; Cooperation; Group Selection; Norms; Population;

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References

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  1. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Michael Kosfeld, . "Network Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 152, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2002. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Working Papers 2002-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Ones, Umut & Putterman, Louis, 2007. "The ecology of collective action: A public goods and sanctions experiment with controlled group formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 495-521, April.
  5. Bohnet, Iris & Kubler, Dorothea, 2005. "Compensating the cooperators: is sorting in the prisoner's dilemma possible?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 61-76, January.
  6. Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B. & Meier, Stephan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," IZA Discussion Papers 2020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Friederike Mengel & Veronika Grimm, 2007. "Group Selection With Imperfect Separation - An Experiment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Myerson, Roger B. & Pollock, Gregory B. & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 1991. "Viscous population equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 101-109, February.
  10. Coricelli, Giorgio & Fehr, Dietmar & Fellner, Gerlinde, 2004. "Partner Selection in Public Goods Experiments," Economics Series 151, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  11. Mengel, Friederike, 2008. "Matching structure and the cultural transmission of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 608-623, September.
  12. Michael Kosfeld & Arno Riedl, 2004. "The Design of (De)centralized Punishment Institutions for Sustaining Co-operation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-025/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Living in Two Neighborhoods – Social Interaction Effects in the Lab," Discussion Papers 2009-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Matching technology and the choice of punishment institutions in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 333-348, May.
  3. Sergio Currarini & Friederike Menge, 2012. "Identity, Homophily and In-Group Bias," Working Papers 2012.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Rivas, Javier, 2013. "Cooperation, imitation and partial rematching," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 148-162.
  5. Fosco, Constanza & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Cooperation through imitation and exclusion in networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 641-658, May.
  6. Mengel, Friederike, 2008. "Matching structure and the cultural transmission of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 608-623, September.
  7. Mengel, Friederike & Peeters, Ronald, 2011. "Strategic behavior in repeated voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 143-148.
  8. Peter Werner, 2010. "The Dynamics of Cooperation in Group Lending - A Microfinance Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics 49, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  9. Friederike Mengel & Veronika Grimm, 2007. "Group Selection With Imperfect Separation - An Experiment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  10. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-25, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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