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Conditional Cooperation: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.

    ()

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, Germany)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

When facing the opportunity to allocate resources between oneself and others, individuals may experience a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and preferences to act pro-socially. We explore the domain of conditional cooperation, and we test the hypothesis that increased expectations about others’ average contribution increases own contributions to public goods more when self-control is high than when it is low. We pair a subtle framing technique with a public goods experiment. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that conditionally cooperative behavior is stronger (i.e., less imperfect) when expectations of high contributions are accompanied by high levels of self-control.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/23048
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 459.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 05 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0459
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Kocher, Martin G. & Cherry, Todd & Kroll, Stephan & Netzer, Robert J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2008. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Munich Reprints in Economics 18211, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-55, March.
  4. Jennifer Zelmer, 2003. "Linear Public Goods Experiments: A Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 299-310, November.
  5. John List, 2008. "Introduction to field experiments in economics with applications to the economics of charity," Artefactual Field Experiments 00085, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. repec:feb:artefa:0105 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  8. Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thoeni, 2007. "Measuring Conditional Cooperation: A Replication Study in Russia," Discussion Papers 2007-07, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  9. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
  11. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Martinsson, Peter & Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2010. "Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior - Evidence for the Role of Self-Control," Working Papers in Economics 445, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Schelling, Thomas C, 1984. "Self-Command in Practice, in Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 1-11, May.
  15. 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.
  16. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  17. Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2010. "Reconciling pro-social versus selfish behavior: Evidence for the role of self-control," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-003 (R1), ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 09 Jul 2010.
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