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Cooperation In Viscous Populations - Experimental Evidence

Author

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  • Friederike Mengel

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Veronika Grimm

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the effect of population viscosity (an increased probability to interact with others of one's type or group) on cooperation in a standard prisoner's dilemma environment. Subjects can repeatedly choose between two groups that differ in the defector gain in the associated prisoner's dilemma. Choosing into the group with the smaller defector-gain can signal one's willingness to cooperate. The degree of viscosity is varied across treatments. We find that viscosity produces an endogenous sorting of cooperators and defectors and persistently high rates ofcooperation. Higher viscosity leads to a sharp increase in overall cooperation rates and in addition positively affects the subjects' intrinsic willingness to cooperate.

Suggested Citation

  • Friederike Mengel & Veronika Grimm, 2007. "Cooperation In Viscous Populations - Experimental Evidence," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-17, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2007-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fischbacher, Urs & Gächter, Simon & Quercia, Simone, 2012. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 897-913.
    2. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Matching technology and the choice of punishment institutions in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 333-348, May.
    3. Mengel, Friederike, 2008. "Matching structure and the cultural transmission of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 608-623, September.
    4. Fosco, Constanza & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Cooperation through imitation and exclusion in networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 641-658, May.
    5. Kamei, Kenju, 2016. "Information Disclosure and Cooperation in a Finitely-repeated Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 75100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mengel, Friederike & Peeters, Ronald, 2011. "Strategic behavior in repeated voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 143-148, February.
    7. Friederike Mengel & Veronika Grimm, 2007. "Group Selection With Imperfect Separation - An Experiment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    8. Rivas, Javier, 2013. "Cooperation, imitation and partial rematching," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 148-162.
    9. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Living in Two Neighborhoods – Social Interaction Effects in the Lab," Discussion Papers 2009-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. Sergio Currarini & Friederike Menge, 2012. "Identity, Homophily and In-Group Bias," Working Papers 2012.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. repec:eee:jeborg:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:76-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Chmura, Thorsten & Goerg, Sebastian J. & Weiss, Pia, 2016. "Natural groups and economic characteristics as driving forces of wage discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 178-200.
    13. Emily Breza & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Horacio Larreguy, 2014. "Social Structure and Institutional Design: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field," NBER Working Papers 20309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Currarini, Sergio & Mengel, Friederike, 2016. "Identity, homophily and in-group bias," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 40-55.
    15. Peter Werner, 2010. "The Dynamics of Cooperation in Group Lending - A Microfinance Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics 49, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiments; Cooperation; Group Selection; Norms; Population;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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