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An experiment investigating the spillover effects of communication opportunities

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  • Koukoumelis, Anastasios
  • Levati, M. Vittoria

Abstract

We report on an experiment designed to explore whether the effects of expressing one’s emotions spill over into future interactions, thereby curtailing subsequent selfish decisions. In between two identical public goods games, participants play a binary-choice dictator game which, depending on the treatment, either gives or does not give the recipient the opportunity to text the dictator. The recipients of an unfair offer—in contrast to the recipients of a fair offer—contribute significantly less in the second public goods game. Yet, their contribution reductions are significantly smaller in the treatment allowing for recipient communication. To control for a belief-based explanation of these findings, we run treatments where we elicit beliefs about the other’s contribution. We find that belief elicitation affects the efficacy of communication.

Suggested Citation

  • Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria, 2019. "An experiment investigating the spillover effects of communication opportunities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 147-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:158:y:2019:i:c:p:147-157
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.11.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods game; Dictator game; Emotions; Messaging opportunities; Cooperation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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