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Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Christoph Engel

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

  • Sebastian Kube

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

  • Michael Kurschilgen

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

Abstract

We study how cooperative behavior reacts to selective (favorable or unfavorable) pre-play information about the cooperativeness of other, unrelated groups within an experimental framework that is sufficiently rich for conflicting behavioral norms to emerge. We find that cooperation crucially depends on pre-play information, coinciding with a change in initial beliefs. Over time, behavior within both types of groups becomes increasingly homogeneous, indicating the formation of two rather different social norms, depending on whether pre-play information was favorable or unfavorable. In addition, we find unfavorable information to substantially reduce the effectiveness of peer punishment. For these differences to emerge it is immaterial whether each member or only one member of a four-person group receives the pre-play information.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Engel & Sebastian Kube & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised May 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_05
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    File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2011_05online.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarah Mörtenhuber & Andreas Nicklisch & Kai-Uwe Schnapp, 2016. "What Goes Around, Comes Around: Experimental Evidence on Exposed Lies," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-14, October.
    2. Robert Dur & Ben Vollaard, 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example - A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-061/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 10 Apr 2014.
    3. Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (replaced by TILEC DP 2013-006)," Discussion Paper 2012-024, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    4. Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2013. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of TILEC DP 2013-006)," Discussion Paper 2013-018, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    5. Urs Fischbacher & Simeon Schudy & Sabrina Teyssier, 2014. "Heterogeneous reactions to heterogeneity in returns from public goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, pages 195-217.
    6. Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2013. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of CentER DP 2013-018)," Discussion Paper 2013-037, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Robert Dur & Ben Vollaard, 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example - A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-061/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 10 Apr 2014.
    8. Gerrit Frackenpohl & Adrian Hillenbrand & Sebastian Kube, 2016. "Leadership effectiveness and institutional frames," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 842-863, December.
    9. Kenju Kamei & Louis Putterman, 2012. "In Broad Daylight: Full Information and Higher-order Punishment Opportunities Promote Cooperation," Working Papers 2012-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    10. Engel, Christoph & Kleine, Marco, 2015. "Who is afraid of pirates? An experiment on the deterrence of innovation by imitation," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 20-33.
    11. Christoph Engel & Marco Kleine, 2013. "Who is Afraid of Pirates? An Experiment on the Deterrence of Innovation by Imitation," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Nov 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experiment; information; Norms; cooperation; Effectiveness of Sanctions; Expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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