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The impact of anticipated discussion on cooperation in a social dilemma


  • Tjøtta, Sigve

    () (University of Bergen, Department of Economics)

  • Torsvik, Gaute

    () (University of Bergen, Department of Economics)

  • Kobbeltvedt, Therese

    () (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Strategy and Management)

  • Molander, Anders

    () (Center for the Study of Professions, Oslo University College)


We study the impact of anticipated face-to-face discussions among group members after they have made an anonymous contribution to a public good in an experimental setting. We find that the impact of anticipated discussions depends on how we frame the public good game. When framed in non-evaluative language, anticipated ex post discussions lead to a sharp reduction in contributions to the public good. This effect reversed when evaluative language was used to underscore normative expectations. In contrast, there was no framing in the no-discussion baseline version of our game. We offer an explanation that centres on the idea that the announcement of ex post discussions reinforces both normative and predictive expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute & Kobbeltvedt, Therese & Molander, Anders, 2008. "The impact of anticipated discussion on cooperation in a social dilemma," Working Papers in Economics 11/08, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2008_011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Cappelen & Astri Hole & Erik Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2011. "The importance of moral reflection and self-reported data in a dictator game with production," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(1), pages 105-120, January.

    More about this item


    Public Goods; Laboratory; Individual Behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods


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