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Coordinating Collective Resistance Through Communication And Repeated Interaction

  • Timothy N Cason
  • Vai-Lam Mui

This paper presents a laboratory collective resistance (CR) game to study how different forms of repeated interactions, with and without communication, can help coordinate subordinates' collective resistance to a ???divide-and-conquer??? transgression against their personal interests. In the one-shot CR game, a first???mover (the ???leader???) decides whether to transgress against two responders. Successful transgression increases the payoff of the leader at the expense of the victim(s) of transgression. The two responders then simultaneously decide whether to challenge the leader. The subordinates face a coordination problem in that their challenge against the leader's transgression will only succeed if both of them incur the cost to do so. The outcome without transgression can occur in equilibrium with standard money-maximizing preferences with repeated interactions, but this outcome is not an equilibrium with standard preferences when adding non-binding subordinate ???cheap talk??? communication in the one-shot game. Nevertheless, we find that communication (in the one-shot game) is at least as effective as repetition (with no communication) in reducing the transgression rate. Moreover, communication is better than repetition in coordinating resistance, because it makes it easier for subordinates to identify others who have social preferences and are willing to incur the cost to punish a violation of social norms.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2008/1608coordinatingcasonmui.pdf
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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 16/08.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 04 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2008-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
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Web page: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/
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