The effect of intergroup competition on group coordination: an experimental study
We report an experiment on the effect of intergroup competition on group coordination in the minimal-effort game (Van Huyck et al., 1990). The competition was between two 7-person groups. Each player in each group independently chose an integer from 1 to 7. The group with the higher minimum won the competition and each of its members was paid according to the game’s original payoff matrix. Members of the losing group were paid nothing. In case of a tie, each player was paid half the payoff in the original matrix. This treatment was contrasted with two control treatments where each of the two groups played an independent coordination game, either with or without information about the minimum chosen by the outgroup. Although the intergroup competition does not change the set of strict equilibria, we found that it improved collective rationality by moving group members in the direction of higher-payoff equilibria. Merely providing group members with information about the minimal-effort level in the other group was not sufficient to generate this effect.
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