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Collective Incentives and Cooperation in Teams with Imperfect Monitoring

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We experimentally explore the role of collective incentives in sustaining cooperation in finitely repeated public goods games with imperfect monitoring. In our experiment players only observe noisy signals about individual contributions, while total output is perfectly observed. We consider sanctioning mechanisms that allow agents to commit to collective punishment in case total output fall short of a target. We find that cooperation is higher in the case of collective punishment compared to both the case of no punishment and the case of standard peer-to-peer punishment which conditions on the noisy signals. Further experiments indicate that both the commitment possibility and the collective nature of punishment matter for the positive effect of collective incentives on cooperation.

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  • Mengel, Friederike & Mohlin , Erik & Weidenholzer, Simon, 2018. "Collective Incentives and Cooperation in Teams with Imperfect Monitoring," Working Papers 2018:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2018_011
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    1. Arno Riedl & Ingrid M. T. Rohde & Martin Strobel, 2016. "Efficient Coordination in Weakest-Link Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 737-767.
    2. Ostrom, Elinor & Walker, James & Gardner, Roy, 1992. "Covenants with and without a Sword: Self-Governance Is Possible," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 86(2), pages 404-417, June.
    3. Patel, Amrish & Cartwright, Edward & Mark, Van Vugt, 2010. "Punishment Cannot Sustain Cooperation in a Public Good Game with Free-Rider Anonymity," Working Papers in Economics 451, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods game; Team production; Punishment; Collective sanctions; Imperfect monitoring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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