Communication, Cooperation and Collusion in Team Tournaments - An Experimental Study

Games and Economic Behavior, Forthcoming

University of Innsbruck Working Paper No. 2007-19

52 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2008

See all articles by Matthias Sutter

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Christina Strassmair

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Munich Graduate School of Economics (MGSE)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

We study the effects of communication in an experimental tournament between teams. When teams, rather than individuals, compete for a prize there is a need for intra-team coordination in order to win the inter-team competition. Introducing communication in such situations may have ambiguous effects on effort choices. Communication within teams may promote higher efforts by mitigating the internal free-rider problem. Communication between competing teams may lead to collusion, thereby reducing efforts. In our experiment we control the channels of communication by letting subjects communicate through an electronic chat. We find, indeed, that communication within teams increases efforts and communication between teams reduces efforts. We use team members' dialogues to explain these effects of communication, and check the robustness of our results.

Keywords: Tournament, Team decision making, Communication, Collusion, Freeriding

JEL Classification: C92, J33

Suggested Citation

Sutter, Matthias and Strassmair, Christina, Communication, Cooperation and Collusion in Team Tournaments - An Experimental Study (2007). Games and Economic Behavior, Forthcoming; University of Innsbruck Working Paper No. 2007-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1116206

Matthias Sutter (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

Christina Strassmair

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Munich Graduate School of Economics (MGSE) ( email )

Kaulbachstrasse 45
M√ľnchen, 80539
Germany

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