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Efficiency, Team building, and Spillover in a Public-goods Game



The notions of one’s social identity, group membership, and homophily have recentlybecome topics for economic theory and experiments. Yet, since people are members of manygroups (e.g., race, gender, handedness) what determines which identity or identities are the mostsalient in different environments? Further, how do these factors trade off against one’s financialinterest? We conduct public-goods experiments in which we permit endogenous group-formationand vary whether there is a team-building exercise and whether some people receive anendowment twice as much as others receive. We do see evidence that team identity affectsendogenous networks when there is only one endowment type; however, when both identities arepresent, high-endowment participants are strongly attracted to linking up with each other. Oneinteresting result is that the team-building exercise greatly increases the level of contributionwithout respect to whether one is linked to people from one’s team-building exercise.Apparently the positive feeling engendered by the group exercise spills over to participants whowere in another team; however, this is not the case when one group has been in a 4-person teamand the other four participants have not.

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  • Charness, Gary, 2012. "Efficiency, Team building, and Spillover in a Public-goods Game," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2np178xh, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt2np178xh

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    2. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
    3. Brown-Kruse, Jamie & Hummels, David, 1993. "Gender effects in laboratory public goods contribution : Do individuals put their money where their mouth is?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 255-267, December.
    4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    5. Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, July.
    6. Charness, Gary & Rustichini, Aldo, 2011. "Gender differences in cooperation with group membership," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 77-85, May.
    7. Maier-Rigaud, Frank P. & Martinsson, Peter & Staffiero, Gianandrea, 2010. "Ostracism and the provision of a public good: experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 387-395, March.
    8. Solow, John L. & Kirkwood, Nicole, 2002. "Group identity and gender in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 403-412, August.
    9. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2005. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1032-1053, October.
    10. Bram Cadsby, C. & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Gender and free riding in a threshold public goods game: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 603-620, March.
    11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
    12. Ahn, T.K. & Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C., 2009. "Coming and going: Experiments on endogenous group sizes for excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 336-351, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatás & Juan Lacomba & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Splitting leagues: promotion and demotion in contribution-based regrouping experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 426-441, September.
    2. Riener, Gerhard & Wiederhold, Simon, 2016. "Team building and hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 1-18.

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    Social and Behavioral Sciences; experiment; identity; team building; homophily;

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