Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy

50 Pages Posted: 22 May 2008 Last revised: 30 Oct 2008

See all articles by Pedro Dal Bo

Pedro Dal Bo

Brown University - Department of Economics

Andrew D. Foster

Brown University - Department of Economics; Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Louis Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2008

Abstract

A novel experiment is used to show that the effect of a policy on the level of cooperation is greater when it is chosen democratically by the subjects than when it is exogenously imposed. In contrast to the previous literature, our experimental design allows us to control for selection effects (e.g. those who choose the policy may be affected differently by it). Our finding implies that democratic institutions may affect behavior directly in addition to having effects through the choice of policies. Our findings have implications for the generalizability of the results of randomized policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

Dal Bo, Pedro and Foster, Andrew D. and Putterman, Louis G., Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy (May 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w13999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1134287

Pedro Dal Bo (Contact Author)

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-2953 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Pedro_Dal_Bo/

Andrew D. Foster

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-2537 (Phone)

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

Louis G. Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-3837 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

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