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

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

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 379-390

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:2:p:379-390
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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