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Leading by Words in Privileged Groups

  • Johannes Weisser

    (IMPRS Uncertainty, MPI for Economics, Jena)

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    Koukoumelis et al. (2010, 2012) have shown that one-way communication enhances contributions to public goods. We investigate the effectiveness of one-way communication, when the benefits from the public good are asymmetric and the sender of a message is the main beneficiary of cooperation. Our results show that, in the absence of communication opportunities, contribution behavior may be inversely related to other group members' marginal benefits from the public good. The effectiveness of one-way communication, however, remains unaffected even though compliance with a sender's suggestion to cooperate generates unfavorable payoff inequalities for message receivers. The results also indicate that one-way messages have to relate to the experimental game to enhance cooperation. Merely "giving someone a voice" is not sufficient.

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    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-066.

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    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-066
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    1. 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.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Ernesto Reuben & Arno Riedl, 2007. "Public Goods Provision and Sanctioning in Privileged Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 2063, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Anastasios Koukoumelis & M. Vittoria Levati & Johannes Weisser, 2010. "A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication and income heterogeneity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-094, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    6. Andreas Glöckner & Bernd Irlenbusch & Sebastian Kube & Andreas Nicklisch & Hans‐Theo Normann, 2011. "Leading With(Out) Sacrifice? A Public‐Goods Experiment With A Privileged Player," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 591-597, 04.
    7. Simon Gaechter & Elke Renner, 2010. "The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments," Discussion Papers 2010-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
    9. Fisher, Joseph, et al, 1995. " Heterogenous Demand for Public Goods: Behavior in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 249-66, December.
    10. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
    11. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    12. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
    13. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
    14. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. 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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