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The Roots of Cooperation

Author

Listed:
  • Zvonimir Bašic
  • Parampreet Christopher Bindra
  • Daniela Glätzle-Rützler
  • Angelo Romano
  • Matthias Sutter
  • Claudia Zoller

Abstract

We study the development of cooperation in 929 young children, aged 3 to 6. In a unified experimental framework, we examine pre-registered hypotheses about which of three fundamental pillars of human cooperation – direct and indirect reciprocity, and third-party punishment – emerges earliest as a means to increase cooperation in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma game. We find that third-party punishment doubles cooperation rates in comparison to a control condition. Children also reciprocate others’ behavior, yet direct and indirect reciprocity do not increase overall cooperation rates. We also examine the influence of children’s cognitive skills and parents’ socioeconomic background on cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Zvonimir Bašic & Parampreet Christopher Bindra & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Angelo Romano & Matthias Sutter & Claudia Zoller, 2021. "The Roots of Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 9404, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9404
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    Cited by:

    1. Zvonimir Bašić & Parampreet C. Bindra & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Angelo Romano & Matthias Sutter & Claudia Zoller, 2021. "The Roots of Cooperation," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 097, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cooperation; reciprocity; third-party punishment; reputation; children; parents; cognitive abilities; socioeconomic status; prisoner’s dilemma game; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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