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Strong, bold, and kind: Self-control and cooperation in social dilemmas

  • Martin G. Kocher

    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Peter Martinsson

    (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

  • Kristian Ove R. Myrseth

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Conny Wollbrant

    (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

We develop a model that relates self-control and conflict identification to cooperation patterns in social dilemmas. As predicted, we find in a laboratory public goods experiment a robust association between stronger self-control and higher levels of cooperation. This means that there is evidence for an impulse to be selfish and that cooperative behavior requires self-control effort. Free-riders differ from other contributor types only in their tendency not to have identified a self-control conflict in the first place.

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File URL: http://static.esmt.org/publications/workingpapers/ESMT-12-01_R1.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2012
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Paper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-12-01 (R1).

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 19 Jan 2012
Date of revision: 28 Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-12-01
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