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The Role of Choice in Social Dilemma Experiments

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  • Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany)

  • 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 Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2003_7.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2003_07

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

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "Freedom of choice : Concept and content," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 269-294, March.
  6. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. James Andreoni, 1994. "Warm-Glow versus Cold-Prickle: The Effects of Positive and Negative Framing on Cooperation in Experiments," Experimental 9410002, EconWPA.
  8. Roth, Alvin E, 1988. "Laboratory Experimentation in Economics: A Methodological Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 974-1031, December.
  9. Selten, Reinhard, . "Features of Experimentally Observed Bounded Rationality," Discussion Paper Serie B 421, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Nov 1997.
  10. Merrill M. Flood, 1958. "Some Experimental Games," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(1), pages 5-26, October.
  11. Druckman, James N., 2001. "Evaluating framing effects," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 91-101, February.
  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  15. Puppe, Clemens, 1996. "An Axiomatic Approach to "Preference for Freedom of Choice"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 174-199, January.
  16. R. Cookson, 2000. "Framing Effects in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 55-79, June.
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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud & Peter Martinsson & Gianandrea Staffiero, 2005. "Ostracism and the Provision of a Public Good, Experimental Evidence," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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