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Free-riding on Communication: An Experimental Study

Author

Listed:
  • Andersson, Ola

    () (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Holm, Håkan J.

    () (Department of Economics, Lund University)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates free-riding behavior on communication cost in a coordination game and finds strong indications of such free-riding. Firstly, the subjects tend to wait for others to send a message when communication is costly, which does not happen when communication is costless. Secondly, the proportion of games where no communication takes place is much higher when communication is costly compared to when it is free. Thirdly, the form of communication also strongly suggests free-riding.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson, Ola & Holm, Håkan J., 2010. "Free-riding on Communication: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2010:10, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 03 Mar 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2010_010
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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/Papers/WP10_10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
    2. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
    3. Andersson, Ola & Holm, Håkan J., 2010. "Endogenous communication and tacit coordination in market entry games: An explorative experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 477-495, September.
    4. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith & Schoumaker, Francoise, 1988. "The Deadline Effect in Bargaining: Some Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 806-823, September.
    5. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Free-riding; Communication; Coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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