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Conditional cooperation and betrayal aversion

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  • Cubitt, Robin
  • Gächter, Simon
  • Quercia, Simone

Abstract

We investigate whether there is an association between conditional cooperation and betrayal aversion, two phenomena that we conjecture share common psychological characteristics despite having been studied largely separately in the previous literature. We use a public goods game to categorize subjects by type of contribution preference and we measure betrayal aversion for different categories of subject. We report three studies, using two different methods to measure betrayal aversion: a standard elicitation with monetary incentives and a novel scenario-based measure that we argue addresses concerns about the standard measure. We find strong and robust evidence of an association between conditional cooperation and betrayal aversion in the scenario-based measures but not in the standard measure.

Suggested Citation

  • Cubitt, Robin & Gächter, Simon & Quercia, Simone, 2017. "Conditional cooperation and betrayal aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 110-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:110-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.06.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Simone Quercia, 2016. "Eliciting and measuring betrayal aversion using the BDM mechanism," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 48-59, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods game; Conditional cooperation; Trust; Betrayal aversion; Exploitation aversion; Free riding; Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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