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Inherited Institutions: Cooperation in the Light of Democratic Legitimacy

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  • Pascal Langenbach
  • Franziska Tausch

Abstract

We experimentally investigate whether the procedural history of a sanctioning institution affects cooperation in a social dilemma. Subjects inherit the institutional setting from a previous generation of subjects who either decided on the implementation of the institution democratically by majority vote or were exogenously assigned a setting. In order to isolate the impact of the voting procedure, no information about the cooperation history is provided. In line with existing empirical evidence, we observe that in the starting generation cooperation is higher (lower) with a democratically chosen (rejected) institution, as compared to the corresponding, randomly imposed setting. In the second generation, we find no positive effect of the democratic procedural history on cooperation when the institution is implemented. Yet, the vote-based rejection of the institution leads to (marginally) less cooperation in the second generation.

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  • Pascal Langenbach & Franziska Tausch, 2019. "Inherited Institutions: Cooperation in the Light of Democratic Legitimacy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 364-393.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:35:y:2019:i:2:p:364-393.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewz004
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    2. Konstantin Chatziathanasiou & Svenja Hippel & Michael Kurschilgen, 2020. "Do rights to resistance discipline the elites? An experiment on the threat of overthrow," Munich Papers in Political Economy 08, TUM School of Governance at the Technical University of Munich.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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