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Leveraging the Honor Code: Public Goods Contributions under Oath

Listed author(s):
  • Jérôme Hergueux

    (ETH Zurich)

  • Nicolas Jacquemet

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

  • Stéphane Luchini

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille)

  • Jason Shogren

    (Departement of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming - UW - University of Wyoming)

Real economic commitment (or the lack of it) of others affects a person's preferences to cooperate. But what if the commitment of others cannot be observed ex ante? Herein we examine how a classic non-monetary institution– a solemn oath of honesty –creates economic commitment within the public goods game. Commitment-through-the-oath asks people to hold themselves to a higher standard of integrity. Our results suggest the oath can increase cooperation (by 33%)– but the oath does not change preferences for cooperation. Rather people react quicker and cooperate, taking less time to ponder on the strategic free riding behavior.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-01379060.

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Date of creation: Oct 2016
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-01379060
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01379060
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