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Communication, cooperation and collusion in team tournaments--An experimental study

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  • Sutter, Matthias
  • Strassmair, Christina

Abstract

We study the effects of communication in an experimental tournament between teams. When teams, rather than individuals, compete for a prize there is a need for intra-team coordination in order to win the inter-team competition. Introducing communication in such situations may have ambiguous effects on effort choices. Communication within teams may promote higher efforts by mitigating the internal free-rider problem. Communication between competing teams may lead to collusion, thereby reducing efforts. In our experiment we control the channels of communication by letting subjects communicate through an electronic chat. We find, indeed, that communication within teams increases efforts and communication between teams reduces efforts. We use team members' dialogs to explain these effects of communication, and check the robustness of our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Sutter, Matthias & Strassmair, Christina, 2009. "Communication, cooperation and collusion in team tournaments--An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 506-525, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:1:p:506-525
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tournament Team decision making Communication Collusion Free-riding Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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