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Leading by words: A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication

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  • Koukoumelis, Anastasios
  • Levati, M. Vittoria
  • Weisser, Johannes

Abstract

We use experimental methods to study the power of leading by words. The context is a voluntary contribution mechanism with one-way communication. One group member can send a free-form text message to his fellow players. Contrary to the commonly accepted wisdom that the cooperation-enhancing effect of communication requires the mutual exchange of promises, we find that the introduction of one-way communication increases contributions substantially and decreases their variation. When communication is one-shot, its effect on contribution levels persists over time. Moreover, one-way communication is effective even in the absence of strategic concerns.

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  • Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria & Weisser, Johannes, 2012. "Leading by words: A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 379-390.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:2:p:379-390
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.11.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods experiment; Computer-mediated communication; Cheap talk; Cooperation;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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