Real wealth and experimental cooperation: Evidence from field experiments
This paper explores how wealth and inequality can affect self-governed solutions to commons dilemmas by constraining group cooperation. It reports a series of experiments in the field where subjects are actual commons users. Household data about the participants? context explain statistically the usually observed wide variation found within and across groups in similar experiments. Participants wealth and inequality reduced cooperation when groups were allowed to have face-toface communication between rounds. There are implications for a greater awareness of nonpayoff asymmetries affecting cooperation in heterogeneous groups, apart from heterogeneity in the payoffs structure of the game.
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