IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zur/econwp/069.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Communication in asymmetric group competition over public goods

Author

Listed:
  • Jingjing Zhang

Abstract

This paper examines whether and how cheap talk communication can facilitate within-group coordination when two unequal sized groups compete for a prize that is shared equally among members of the winning group, regardless of their (costly) contributions to the group’s success. We find that allowing group members to communicate before making contribution decisions improves coordination. To measure how much miscoordination remains, we employ a control treatment where miscoordination is eliminated by asking group members to reach a unanimous contribution decision. Average group contributions are not significantly different in this control treatment. Cheap talk communication thus completely solves miscoordination within groups and makes group members act as a single agent. Furthermore, it is the larger group that benefits from communication at the expense of the smaller group. Finally, content analysis of group communication reveals that after the reduction of within-group strategic uncertainty, groups reach self-enforcing agreements on how much to contribute, designate specific contributors according to a rotation scheme, and quickly discover the logic of the mixed-strategy equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Jingjing Zhang, 2012. "Communication in asymmetric group competition over public goods," ECON - Working Papers 069, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:069
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp069.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. Sutter, Matthias & Strassmair, Christina, 2009. "Communication, cooperation and collusion in team tournaments--An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 506-525, May.
    3. Cristina Bicchieri, 2002. "Covenants without Swords," Rationality and Society, , vol. 14(2), pages 192-228, May.
    4. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "Strategic Thinking," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001148, David K. Levine.
    5. Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2247-2257, December.
    6. Van Huyck John B. & Battalio Raymond C. & Beil Richard O., 1993. "Asset Markets as an Equilibrium Selection Mechanism: Coordination Failure, Game Form Auctions, and Tacit Communication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 485-504, July.
    7. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
    8. Stephen Cheung & Stefan Palan, 2012. "Two heads are less bubbly than one: team decision-making in an experimental asset market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(3), pages 373-397, September.
    9. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2010. "Intergroup Conflict and Intra-group Punishment in an Experimental Contest Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 420-447, March.
    10. Jingjing Zhang & Marco Casari, 2012. "How Groups Reach Agreement In Risky Choices: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 502-515, April.
    11. Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher & Sabine Strauss, 2009. "Individuals and teams in auctions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 380-394, April.
    12. Charness, Gary & Karni, Edi & Levin, Dan, 2010. "On the conjunction fallacy in probability judgment: New experimental evidence regarding Linda," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 551-556, March.
    13. R. Mark Isaac & James M. Walker, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-199.
    14. Ahn, T.K. & Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C., 2011. "Rent seeking in groups," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 116-125, January.
    15. Crawford, Vincent P, 1995. "Adaptive Dynamics in Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 103-143, January.
    16. Tamar Kugler & Edgar E. Kausel & Martin G. Kocher, 2012. "Are Groups more Rational than Individuals? A Review of Interactive Decision Making in Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 3701, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-341, June.
    18. Cason, Timothy N. & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2005. "Uncertainty and resistance to reform in laboratory participation games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 708-737, September.
    19. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
    20. James Cox & Stephen Hayne, 2006. "Barking up the right tree: Are small groups rational agents?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 209-222, September.
    21. Gary Charness & Edi Karni & Dan Levin, 2007. "Individual and group decision making under risk: An experimental study of Bayesian updating and violations of first-order stochastic dominance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 129-148, October.
    22. repec:pit:wpaper:273 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Roman Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2010. "Can groups solve the problem of over-bidding in contests?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 175-197, July.
    24. 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.
    25. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Shmuel Zamir, 2003. "One Team Must Win, the Other Need Only Not Lose: An Experimental Study of an Asymmetric Participation Game," Discussion Paper Series dp317, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    26. Hackett Steven & Schlager Edella & Walker James, 1994. "The Role of Communication in Resolving Commons Dilemmas: Experimental Evidence with Heterogeneous Appropriators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 99-126, September.
    27. Jingjing Zhang & Marco Casari, 2012. "How Groups Reach Agreement In Risky Choices: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 502-515, 04.
    28. Nitzan, Shmuel & Ueda, Kaoru, 2011. "Prize sharing in collective contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 678-687, June.
    29. Timothy N. Cason & Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2009. "Reducing Efficiency through Communication in Competitive Coordination Games," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-09, McMaster University.
    30. Nitzan, Shmuel & Ueda, Kaoru, 2009. "Collective contests for commons and club goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 48-55, February.
    31. M. Casari & J. Zhang & C. Jackson, 2011. "When Do Groups Perform Better than Individuals? A Company Takeover Experiment," Working Papers wp763, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    32. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406.
    33. Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Mathauschek, Barbara, 2007. "Teams take the better risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 412-422, July.
    34. Gillet, Joris & Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2009. "The tragedy of the commons revisited: The importance of group decision-making," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 785-797, June.
    35. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
    36. Rapoport, Amnon & Amaldoss, Wilfred, 2000. "Mixed strategies and iterative elimination of strongly dominated strategies: an experimental investigation of states of knowledge," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 483-521, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cason, Timothy N. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and efficiency in competitive coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 26-43.
    2. Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2014. "Three-Player Trust Game With Insider Communication," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 576-591, April.
    3. Neil J. Buckley & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller & Stephan Schott & Jingjing Zhang, 2013. "Communication and Output Sharing in Common Pool Resource Environments," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-06, McMaster University.
    4. Sean P. Hargreaves Heap & Abhijit Ramalingam & Siddharth Ramalingam & Brock V. Stoddard, 2015. "‘Doggedness’ or ‘disengagement’? An experiment on the effect of inequality in endowment on behaviour in team competitions," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 13-08-R, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    5. Timothy N. Cason & Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2015. "Asymmetric and Endogenous Communication in Competition between Groups," Working Papers 15-01, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    6. Hargreaves Heap, Shaun P. & Ramalingam, Abhijit & Ramalingam, Siddharth & Stoddard, Brock V., 2015. "‘Doggedness’ or ‘disengagement’? An experiment on the effect of inequality in endowment on behaviour in team competitions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 80-93.
    7. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2018. "Behavior In Group Contests: A Review Of Experimental Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 683-704, July.
    8. Jingjing Zhang, 2009. "Communication in Asymmetric Group Competition over Public Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-06, McMaster University.
    9. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9519-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jacob Goeree & Jingjing Zhang, 2014. "Communication & competition," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 421-438, September.
    11. Timothy N. Cason & Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2017. "Asymmetric and endogenous within-group communication in competitive coordination games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 946-972, December.
    12. repec:kap:enreec:v:70:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0124-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Marco Casari & Christine Jackson & Jingjing Zhang, 2009. "Do Groups Fall Prey to the Winner's Curse?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-18, McMaster University.
    14. David Blake Johnson, 2016. "(Please Don't) Say It to My Face! The Interaction of Feedback and Distance: Experiments with Vulgar Language," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 336-368, May.
    15. Bhattacharya, Puja, 2016. "Inter-team contests with power differential," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 157-175.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Group competition; threshold public goods; coordination; cheap talk communication; content analysis; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:069. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/seizhch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.