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The Role of Choice in Social Dilemma Experiments

  • Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany)

  • Jose Apesteguia

On the basis of problems related to asymmetric information, self-governance has been proposed and often empirically found to be superior to the external imposition of rules in social dilemma situations. The present paper suggests and experimentally analyses a different line of argument, namely to what extent behavioral aspects can explain these findings. We study this hypothesis using the simplest, most general dilemma form: the prisoner’s dilemma (PD). We compare behavior when players are given the possibility of choosing between two different representations of the same PD, to behavior when players are externally assigned to play a specific game. We find that cooperation rates are significantly higher in the games that were chosen.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2003_7.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2003_07
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  1. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  2. R. Cookson, 2000. "Framing Effects in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 55-79, June.
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  8. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Warm-Glow versus Cold-Prickle: The Effects of Positive and Negative Framing on Cooperation in Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-21, February.
  10. Puppe, Clemens, 1996. "An Axiomatic Approach to "Preference for Freedom of Choice"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 174-199, January.
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  12. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  14. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1998. "Public good provision and public bad prevention: The effect of framing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 143-161, January.
  15. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, June.
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