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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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  1. Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
  2. Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2012. "Reconciling pro-social vs. selfish behavior: On the role of self-control," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(3), pages 304-315, May.
  3. Andereoni, J., 1988. "Why Free Ride? Strategies And Learning In Public Goods Experiments," Working papers 375, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2011. "Naïve and capricious: Stumbling into the ring of self-control conflict," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-11-09, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  5. Simon Gaechter & Elke Renner, 2006. "The Effects of (Incentivized) Belief Elicitation in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2006-16, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
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  7. Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G. & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2011. "Impatience and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolescents' Field Behavior," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48720, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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  12. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
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  18. 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.
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  25. Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2010. "Cooperation in social dilemmas: The necessity of seeing self-control conflict," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-004 (R1), ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 16 Nov 2012.
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  29. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
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