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Conditional cooperation in the field: Cross-country skiers' behavior in sweden


  • Tobias Heldt


In a laboratory one-shot public good game, Fischbacher, Gachter and Fehr (2001) classify 50 percent of the subjects as conditional cooperators. Outside the lab, using a student sample, Frey and Meier (2005) find that people behave pro-socially, conditional on others' behavior. This paper tests for conditional cooperation and social comparisons in a natural field experiment, using decisions from a sample of cross-country skiers in Sweden on the issue of voluntary cash contributions to the preparation of ski tracks. Two test procedures are used. First, testing for correlation between beliefs about the contribution of others and own behavior and second, experimentally varying the beliefs about others' behavior. Using the latter approach, I find the share of subjects giving a contribution to be significantly greater in the group receiving information about others' behavior than in the group that does not. Regression analysis cannot reject that subjects are affected by social comparisons and express a behavior classified as conditional cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Heldt, 2005. "Conditional cooperation in the field: Cross-country skiers' behavior in sweden," Natural Field Experiments 00268, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00268

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
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    10. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    11. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
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    13. Messick, David M., 1999. "Alternative logics for decision making in social settings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 11-28, May.
    14. Vail, David & Hultkrantz, Lars, 2000. "Property rights and sustainable nature tourism: adaptation and mal-adaptation in Dalarna (Sweden) and Maine (USA)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 223-242, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meier Stephan, 2005. "Does Framing Matter for Conditional Cooperation? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-21, December.
    2. Benno Torgler & Bruno S. Frey & Clevo Wilson, 2007. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries," Working Papers 2007.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    4. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    5. Cueva, Carlos & Dessi, Roberta, 2012. "Charitable Giving, Self-Image and Personality," TSE Working Papers 12-342, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Michael Kosfeld & Ferdinand A. von Siemens, 2011. "Competition, cooperation, and corporate culture," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 23-43, March.
    7. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity: Evidence from voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1047-1060, June.
    8. Martin Daniel Siyaranamual, 2015. "Are Results of Social- and Self-Image Concerns in Voluntary Contributions Game Similar?," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201501, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Feb 2015.
    9. Torgler Benno & Frey Bruno S. & Wilson Clevo, 2009. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence on Littering," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, April.
    10. Dong, Bin & Dulleck, Uwe & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Conditional corruption," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 609-627.
    11. Dessi, Roberta & Monin, Benoît, 2012. "Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness," TSE Working Papers 12-347, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    12. Lars Hultkrantz & Gunnar Lindberg & Camilla Andersson, 2006. "The value of improved road safety," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 151-170, March.

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