IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/inn/wpaper/2019-04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Non-Binding Pledges in Social Dilemmas with Mitigation and Adaptation

Author

Listed:
  • David M. McEvoy
  • Tobias Haller
  • Esther Blanco

Abstract

This study presents experimental results on the role that non-binding pledges have on the ability of resource users to manage the threat of probabilistic group damages in two separate environments. First, an environment where agents can work collectively to try to mitigate the root cause of the damage (mitigation), which is a form of public good. Second, an environment where in addition to collective mitigation, agents can work autonomously to protect themselves from the damages if they occur (adaptation). The tension is that mitigation and adaptation investments are strategic substitutes. We begin with a model that points to how non-binding pledges could be more effective in a world with both mitigation and adaptation strategies, compared to mitigation only. First-period results show that (i) consistent with previous literature, pledges in a mitigation-only environment do not increase average investments in collective mitigation, but (ii) when both mitigation and adaptation opportunities exist, pledges lead to higher investment in collective mitigation, lower investment in adaptation and increased efficiency. Although the average treatment effect disappears over time as the amount pledged decreases, pledges remain significant predictors of mitigation investments over the course of the experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • David M. McEvoy & Tobias Haller & Esther Blanco, 2019. "The Role of Non-Binding Pledges in Social Dilemmas with Mitigation and Adaptation," Working Papers 2019-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2019-04
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.uibk.ac.at/downloads/c4041030/wpaper/2019-04.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Scott Barrett & Astrid Dannenberg, 2014. "On the Sensitivity of Collective Action to Uncertainty about Climate Tipping Points," CESifo Working Paper Series 4643, CESifo.
    3. Oprea, Ryan & Charness, Gary & Friedman, Daniel, 2014. "Continuous time and communication in a public-goods experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 212-223.
    4. Neugebauer, Tibor & Perote, Javier & Schmidt, Ulrich & Loos, Malte, 2009. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 52-60, February.
    5. Nyborg, Karine, 2018. "Reciprocal climate negotiators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 707-725.
    6. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
    7. Rachel T. A. Croson, 2007. "Theories Of Commitment, Altruism And Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 199-216, April.
    8. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    9. Ingham, Alan & Ma, Jie & Ulph, Alistair, 2007. "Climate change, mitigation and adaptation with uncertainty and learning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5354-5369, November.
    10. Bayramoglu, Basak & Finus, Michael & Jacques, Jean-François, 2018. "Climate agreements in a mitigation-adaptation game," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 101-113.
    11. Marrouch, W. & Ray Chaudhuri, A., 2011. "International Environmental Agreements in the Presence of Adaptation," Other publications TiSEM 247443ba-1022-47e0-9900-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
    13. Lazkano, Itziar & Marrouch, Walid & Nkuiya, Bruno, 2016. "Adaptation to climate change: how does heterogeneity in adaptation costs affect climate coalitions?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(6), pages 812-838, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Bochet, Olivier & Putterman, Louis, 2009. "Not just babble: Opening the black box of communication in a voluntary contribution experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 309-326, April.
    16. Gächter, Simon & Johnson, Eric J. & Herrmann, Andreas, 2007. "Individual-Level Loss Aversion in Riskless and Risky Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2961, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-556, March.
    18. Sally Kane & Jason Shogren, 2000. "Linking Adaptation and Mitigation in Climate Change Policy," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 75-102, April.
    19. Alexander Smith, 2013. "Estimating the causal effect of beliefs on contributions in repeated public good games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 414-425, September.
    20. Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "The value-added of laboratory experiments for the study of institutions and common-pool resources," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 149-163, October.
    21. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    22. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    23. Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria & Weisser, Johannes, 2012. "Leading by words: A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 379-390.
    24. Ganna Pogrebna & David Krantz & Christian Schade & Claudia Keser, 2011. "Words versus actions as a means to influence cooperation in social dilemma situations," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(4), pages 473-502, October.
    25. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1991. "Testing for effects of cheap talk in a public goods game with private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 183-220, May.
    26. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
    27. Udo Ebert & Heinz Welsch, 2012. "Adaptation and Mitigation in Global Pollution Problems: Economic Impacts of Productivity, Sensitivity, and Adaptive Capacity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(1), pages 49-64, May.
    28. Scott Barrett & Astrid Dannenberg, 2016. "An experimental investigation into ‘pledge and review’ in climate negotiations," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 339-351, September.
    29. Hasson, Reviva & Löfgren, Åsa & Visser, Martine, 2010. "Climate change in a public goods game: Investment decision in mitigation versus adaptation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 331-338, December.
    30. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    31. Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Barron, Kai & Nurminen, Tuomas, 2020. "Nudging cooperation in public goods provision," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Feltovich, Nick & Grossman, Philip J., 2015. "How does the effect of pre-play suggestions vary with group size? Experimental evidence from a threshold public-good game," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 263-280.
    3. Kreitmair, Ursula & Bower-Bir, Jacob, 2021. "Too different to solve climate change? Experimental evidence on the effects of production and benefit heterogeneity on collective action," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    4. Bernd Irlenbusch & Rainer Michael Rilke & Gari Walkowitz, 2019. "Designing feedback in voluntary contribution games: the role of transparency," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(2), pages 552-576, June.
    5. Gächter, Simon & Renner, Elke, 2014. "Leaders as Role Models for the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 8580, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Barron, Kai & Nurminen, Tuomas, 2018. "Nudging cooperation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2018-305, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    7. Hong, Fuhai & Lim, Wooyoung, 2016. "Voluntary participation in public goods provision with Coasian bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 102-119.
    8. Caleb A. Cox & Brock Stoddard, 2021. "Common-Value Public Goods and Informational Social Dilemmas," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 343-369, May.
    9. Bernd Irlenbusch & Janna Ter Meer, 2015. "Lying in public good games with and without punishment," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 06-02, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    10. Luigi Butera & John A. List, 2017. "An Economic Approach to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science: With an Application to the Public Goods Game," NBER Working Papers 23335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria & Weisser, Johannes, 2012. "Leading by words: A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 379-390.
    12. Gächter, Simon & Renner, Elke, 2018. "Leaders as role models and ‘belief managers’ in social dilemmas," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 321-334.
    13. Abhijit Ramalingam & Brock V. Stoddard, 2020. "Old habits die hard: The experience of inequality and persistence of low cooperation," Working Papers 20-07, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    14. Chaudhuri, Ananish & Paichayontvijit, Tirnud & Smith, Alexander, 2017. "Belief heterogeneity and contributions decay among conditional cooperators in public goods games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 15-30.
    15. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-556, March.
    16. Khadjavi, Menusch & Lange, Andreas & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "The Social Value of Transparency and Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Asymmetric Public Good Games," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100512, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Fehr, Dietmar & Sutter, Matthias, 2019. "Gossip and the efficiency of interactions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 448-460.
    18. Dannenberg,Astrid & Martinsson,Peter, 2015. "The effect of nonbinding agreements on cooperation among forest user groups in Nepal and Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7325, The World Bank.
    19. Boosey, Luke A., 2017. "Conditional cooperation in network public goods experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 108-116.
    20. Jia Liu & Axel Sonntag & Daniel John Zizzo, 2019. "Information defaults in repeated public good provision," Discussion Papers Series 613, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social dilemmas; economic experiments; behavioral economics; public goods; mitigation; adaptation; environmental damages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2019-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fuibkat.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Janette Walde (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fuibkat.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.