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Law and Behaviours in Social Dilemmas : Testing the Effect of Obligations on Cooperation

Author

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  • Galbiati, R.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Vertova, P.

Abstract

Laws consist of two components: the 'obligations' they express and the 'incentives' designed to enforce them.In this paper we run a public good experiment to test whether or not obligations have any independent effect on cooperation in social dilemmas.The results show that, for given marginal incentives, different levels of minimum contribution required by obligation determine significantly different levels of average contributions.Moreover, unexpected changes in the minimum contribution set up by obligation have asymmetric dynamic effects on the levels of cooperation: a reduction does not alter the descending trend of cooperation, whereas an increase induces a temporary re-start in the average level of cooperation.Nonetheless, obligations per se cannot sustain cooperation over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Galbiati, R. & Vertova, P., 2005. "Law and Behaviours in Social Dilemmas : Testing the Effect of Obligations on Cooperation," Discussion Paper 2005-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:14b8e7c7-ea67-4717-9c45-090e216723c6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
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    6. Colin F. Camerer & Ernst Fehr, "undated". "Measuring Social Norms and Preferences using Experimental Games: A Guide for Social Scientists," IEW - Working Papers 097, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Galbiati & Pietro Vertova, 2006. "The Hidden Effect of Rules: Behavioural consequences of Obligations," Discussion Papers 18_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    2. Bruno Deffains & Claude Fluet, 2007. "Legal versus Normative Incentives under Judicial Error," Cahiers de recherche 0718, CIRPEE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentives; Obligations; Public Good Game; Social Dilemma;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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