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The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence

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  • Gabriele Camera
  • Marco Casari

Abstract

What institutions can sustain cooperation in groups of strangers? Here we study the role of monetary systems. In an experiment, subjects sometimes needed help and sometimes could incur a cost to help an anonymous counterpart. In the absence of money, the intertemporal exchange of help, which could be supported by a norm of community punishment of defectors, did not emerge. Introducing intrinsically worthless tokens substantially altered patterns of behavior. Monetary trade emerged, which increased predictability of play and promoted cooperation when strangers could trade help for a token.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2014. "The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 290-314, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:290-314
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.6.1.290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System

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