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Continuous time and communication in a public-goods experiment

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  • Oprea, Ryan
  • Charness, Gary
  • Friedman, Daniel

Abstract

We investigate the nature of continuous time strategic interaction in public-goods games. In one set of treatments, four subjects make contribution decisions in continuous time during a 10-min interval while in another they make them only at 10 discrete points of time during this interval. The effect of continuous time is muted in public-goods games compared to simpler social dilemmas and the data suggest that widespread coordination problems are to blame. When we add a rich communication protocol, these coordination problems largely disappear and the median subject contributes completely to the public good with no sign of decay over time. At the median, the same communication protocol is less than half as effective in discrete time.

Suggested Citation

  • Oprea, Ryan & Charness, Gary & Friedman, Daniel, 2014. "Continuous time and communication in a public-goods experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 212-223.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:108:y:2014:i:c:p:212-223
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.09.012
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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Cohn & Tobias Gesche & Michel André Maréchal, 2018. "Honesty in the Digital Age," CESifo Working Paper Series 6996, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:91-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Baron, David P. & Bowen, T. Renee & Nunnari, Salvatore, 2017. "Durable coalitions and communication: Public versus private negotiations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 1-13.
    4. Jordi Brandts & Matthew Ellman & Gary Charness, 2016. "Let’s Talk: How Communication Affects Contract Design," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 943-974.
    5. Maria Bigoni & Marco Casari & Andrzej Skrzypacz & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2015. "Time Horizon and Cooperation in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 587-616, March.
    6. Cason, Timothy N. & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2015. "Rich communication, social motivations, and coordinated resistance against divide-and-conquer: A laboratory investigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 146-159.
    7. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:915-935 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fehr, Dietmar & Sutter, Matthias, 2016. "Gossip and the Efficiency of Interactions," IZA Discussion Papers 9704, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Gangadharan, Lata & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Normative conflict and the limits of self-governance in heterogeneous populations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 143-156.
    10. Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Poulsen, Anders U. & Roos, Michael W.M., 2017. "Real-time tacit bargaining, payoff focality, and coordination complexity: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 687-699.
    11. Klaus Abbink & Lu Dong & Lingbo Hugang, 2018. "Talking Behind Your Back: Asymmetric Communication in a Three-person Dilemma," Discussion Papers 2018-11, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    12. Feltovich, Nick & Grossman, Philip J., 2015. "How does the effect of pre-play suggestions vary with group size? Experimental evidence from a threshold public-good game," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 263-280.
    13. Brüggemann, Julia & Crosetto, Paolo & Meub, Lukas & Bizer, Kilian, 2016. "Intellectual property rights hinder sequential innovation. Experimental evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2054-2068.
    14. Sääksvuori, Lauri & Ramalingam, Abhijit, 2015. "Bargaining under surveillance: Evidence from a three-person ultimatum game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 66-78.
    15. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:276-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Schüssler, Katharina & Schüssler, Michael & Mühlbauer, Daniel, 2018. "Individual Differences and Contribution Sequences in Threshold Public Goods," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 88, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    17. van Leeuwen, Boris & Offerman, T.J.S. & van de Ven, J., 2018. "Fight or Flight : Endogenous Timing in Conflicts," Discussion Paper 2018-052, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    18. Tasneem, Dina & Engle-Warnick, Jim & Benchekroun, Hassan, 2017. "An experimental study of a common property renewable resource game in continuous time," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 91-119.
    19. repec:spr:jeicoo:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11403-016-0172-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00499 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. repec:eee:soceco:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:12-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Charness, Gary & Brandts, Jordi & Ellman, Matthew, 2012. "Let’s talk: How communication affects contract design," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6z24s6rv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    23. Charness, Gary & Cooper, David & Grossman, Zachary, 2015. "Silence is Golden: Â Communication Costs and Team Problem Solving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3n25b620, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    24. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9550-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:93-108 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Voluntary contribution mechanism; Continuous time games; C72; C92; D70; H41;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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