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Inducing a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Public Goods Games

Author

Listed:
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    () (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)

  • Enrique Fatas

    (LINEEX, Universidad de Valencia)

  • Pablo Guillen

    (Harvard Business School)

Abstract

This study explores how a self-fulfilling prophecy can solve a social dilemma. We ran two experimental treatments, baseline and automata. Both consisted of a finitely repeated public goods game with a surprise restart. In the automata treatment it was announced that there might be automata playing a grim trigger strategy. This announcement became a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, most participants actually followed a grim trigger strategy in the automata treatment resulting on an increase on the average contributions to the public good relative to the baseline treatment. Moreover, four out of nine groups managed to fully cooperate almost until the last period. Furthermore, after the surprise restart, when the automata threat is less credible, subjects’ behavior was very close to that in the original game.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza & Enrique Fatas & Pablo Guillen, 2006. "Inducing a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Public Goods Games," ThE Papers 06/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  • Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:06/01
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:58-75 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Marisa Bucheli & Teresa Garcia-Muñoz, 2011. "Dynamic panel data: A useful technique in experiments," ThE Papers 10/22, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    3. Qin, Xiangdong & Wang, Siyu, 2013. "Using an exogenous mechanism to examine efficient probabilistic punishment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-10.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-fulfilling prophecy; public goods game; grim trigger strategy; cooperation; automata; beliefs.;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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