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Strategic signaling or emotional sanctioning? An experimental study of ex post communication in a repeated public goods game

  • Adam Zylbersztejn

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Several experimental studies show that ex post communication promotes generosity in situations where individual incentives contradict with common interest, like the provision of public goods. The root underlying the effect of this institution, especially in a repeated interaction, is nonetheless still obscure. This study provides a novel empirical testbed for two mechanisms by which ex post communication may affect behavior in repeated interactions : one is related to strategic signaling, the other involves emotions induces by others' opinions. The main findings are as follows. First, the presence of ex post communication (conducted through the attribution of costless disapproval points) fosters pro-social behavior and reduces free-riding. Second, I find systematic evidence that subjects tend to use ex post communication as a signaling device, whilst no evidence in favor of the emotion-based hypothesis. A possible interpretation of this phenomenon is that ex post messages are used to announce future sanctions for free-riding.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00800587.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Publication status: Published in Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 2013.11 - ISSN : 1955-611X. 2013
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00800587
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00800587
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  1. Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz, 2013. "Immaterial Rewards And Sanctions In A Voluntary Contribution Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1442-1456, 04.
  2. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steve Tucker & Marie Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and non Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00144848, HAL.
  3. Nicolas Jacquemet & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2010. "Learning, words and actions: experimental evidence on coordination-improving information," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10064, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  4. Xiao, Erte & Houser, Daniel, 2009. "Avoiding the sharp tongue: Anticipated written messages promote fair economic exchange," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 393-404, June.
  5. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. López-Pérez, Raúl & Vorsatz, Marc, 2010. "On approval and disapproval: Theory and experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 527-541, August.
  7. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  8. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Anticipated verbal feedback induces altruistic behavior," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 668, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. Dugar, Subhasish, 2010. "Nonmonetary sanctions and rewards in an experimental coordination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 377-386, March.
  10. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
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