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The Impact of Cash Mobs in the Vote with the Wallet Game: Experimental Results

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We simulate in a randomised lab experiment the effect of Cash Mobs on consumers’ behaviour in an original variant of the multiplayer Prisoner’s dilemma called Vote-with-the-Wallet Game (VWG). The effect is modelled in a sequential game with/without an environmental frame in which a subset of players (cash-mobbers) is given the opportunity to reveal publicly (in aggregate without disclosing individual identities) their cooperation decision. We find that the treatment has a positive gross effect, that is, the share of cooperators is significantly higher in treated sessions and this is mainly due to the higher share of cooperators among cash-mobbers. Our results suggest that cash mobs-like mechanisms can help to solve social dilemmas with entirely private solutions (not based on punishment but on positive action) without costs for government budgets.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 401.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 18 Apr 2017
Date of revision: 18 Apr 2017
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:401
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  1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
  2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Salustri, Francesco & Pelligra, Vittorio, 2015. "The Impact of Redistribution Mechanisms in the Vote with the Wallet Game: Experimental Results," AICCON Working Papers 143-2015, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  3. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  4. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  5. Becchetti, Leonardo & Salustri, Francesco, 2015. "The Vote With the Wallet as a Multiplayer Prisoner's Dilemma," AICCON Working Papers 141-2015, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  6. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "When in Rome: conformity and the provision of public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 395-408, September.
  7. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2002. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-134, January.
  8. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-556, March.
  9. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
  10. Anderson, Christopher M. & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Do non-strategic sanctions obey the law of demand? The demand for punishment in the voluntary contribution mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-24, January.
  11. Nicholas Bardsley, 2000. "Control Without Deception: Individual Behaviour in Free-Riding Experiments Revisited," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 215-240, December.
  12. Francois-Charles Wolff, 2001. "Private intergenerational contact in France and the demonstration effect," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-153.
  13. Josef Falkinger, 2000. "A Simple Mechanism for the Efficient Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 247-264, March.
  14. Vasileiou, Efi & Georgantzís, Nikolaos, 2015. "An experiment on energy-saving competition with socially responsible consumers: Opening the black box," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-10.
  15. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
  16. repec:lmu:muenar:20867 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  18. Steiger, Eva-Maria & Zultan, Ro'i, 2014. "See no evil: Information chains and reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-12.
  19. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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