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Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas

  • Kocher, Martin G.

    ()

    (Dept of Economics, University of Munich, and CESifo Munich, and Dept of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

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

  • Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.

    ()

    (ESMT European School of Technology and Management)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

    ()

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

We develop a model that relates self-control and conflict identification to cooperation patterns in social dilemmas. As predicted, we find in a laboratory public goods experiment a robust association between stronger self-control and higher levels of cooperation. This means that there is evidence for an impulse to be selfish and that cooperative behavior requires self-control effort. Free-riders differ from other contributor types only in their tendency not to have identified a self-control conflict in the first place.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/28337
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 523.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jan 2012
Date of revision: 02 Apr 2013
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0523
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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