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The Effect of Voluntary Participation on Cooperation

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  • Daniele Nosenzo

    () (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Fabio Tufano

    () (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We study the effects of voluntary participation on cooperation in collective action problems. Voluntary participation may foster cooperation through a mechanism of assortative selection of interaction partners based on false consensus bias, or through a mechanism whereby the decision to not participate can be used as a threat against free-riders. We examine the effectiveness of these mechanisms in a one-shot public goods experiment. Voluntary participation has a positive effect on provision only through the threat of non-participation. Assortative selection of interaction partners seems to play a minor role in our setting, whereas the threat of non-participation is a powerful force to discipline free-riding.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Nosenzo & Fabio Tufano, 2017. "The Effect of Voluntary Participation on Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2017-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2017-12
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective action; cooperation; voluntary participation; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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