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Does sharing values lead to cooperation? A similarity-based investigation


  • Caterina Cruciani

    () (Department of Economics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia)

  • Anna Moretti

    () (Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia)

  • Paolo Pellizzari

    () (Department of Economics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia)


Understanding what motivates and fosters collective actions has major implications in the regulation and design of public policies, in the governance and management of organizations and has long attracted the interests of scholars and practitioners in economics and business. If trust and reciprocity certainly qualify as possible drivers of collective actions in some specific environments, as the uncertainty regarding the interaction structure increases, they are not likely to be able to explain the emergence of stable interacting groups. This paper deals with how groups of agents emerge in a dynamic contest characterized by lack of formal structure and uncertainty regarding the possible individual outcomes. Through the development of a stylized agent-based model we aim to show how similarity in values can be a successful driver for cooperation. A second-version of the model, where memory of past interactions has a role, introduces further dynamics and is able to create successful and relatively stable groups. The model nicely tries some stylized facts and sheds some light on potential avenues for the resolution of social dilemmas, such as contribution to public goods, addressing the role of perceived similarity in nurturing the cooperative process.

Suggested Citation

  • Caterina Cruciani & Anna Moretti & Paolo Pellizzari, 2012. "Does sharing values lead to cooperation? A similarity-based investigation," Working Papers 1, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
  • Handle: RePEc:vnm:wpdman:14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    2. Ruffle, Bradley J. & Sosis, Richard, 2006. "Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on Israeli kibbutz members and city residents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 147-163, June.
    3. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caterina Cruciani & Anna Moretti & Paolo Pellizzari, 2012. "Sense making and information in an agent-based model of cooperation," Working Papers 14, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

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    More about this item


    Similarity; Social trust; Cooperation; Groups;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation


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