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Money and the Scale of Cooperation

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  • M. Bigoni
  • G. Camera
  • M. Casari

Abstract

This study reveals the existence of a causal link between the availability of money and an expanded scale of interaction. We constructed an experiment where participants chose the group size, either a low-value partnership or a high-value group of strangers, and then faced an intertemporal cooperative task. Theoretically, a monetary system was inessential to achieve cooperation. Empirically, without a working monetary system, participants were reluctant to expand the scale of interaction; and when they did, they ended up destroying surplus compared to partnerships, because cooperation collapsed in large groups. This economic failure was reversed only when participants managed to concurrently develop a stable monetary system.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Bigoni & G. Camera & M. Casari, 2015. "Money and the Scale of Cooperation," Working Papers wp1045, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp1045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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