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Free-Riding and Performance in Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Groups

Author

Listed:
  • Tibor Besedes

    (Georgia Institute of Technology)

  • Cary Deck

    (University of Arkansas)

  • Sarah Quintanar

    (Louisiana State University)

  • Sudipta Sarangi

    (Louisiana State University and DIW Berlin)

  • Mikhael Shor

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Individuals bring effort to a group to achieve a common objective. Group membership introduces a free-riding incentive, reducing effort, as well as a sense of social responsibility, increasing effort. We show experimentally that the free-riding effect is stronger. Group members significantly reduce their effort in non-collaborative groups. With collaboration, the negative effects of free-riding are not observed. Collaborating groups outperform both groups without collaboration and individuals. They do as well, statistically, as the best constituent member would have done on her own. Thus, groups aggregate existing knowledge rather than create new knowledge. JEL Classification: C92, D71, Z13 Key words: group behavior, decision making, free-riding, experiments

Suggested Citation

  • Tibor Besedes & Cary Deck & Sarah Quintanar & Sudipta Sarangi & Mikhael Shor, 2012. "Free-Riding and Performance in Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Groups," Working papers 2012-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2012-21
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    File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2012-21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Lei, Vivian & Masclet, David & Vesely, Filip, 2014. "Competition vs. communication: An experimental study on restoring trust," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 94-107.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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