Heterogeneous Predispositions and the Effects of Sorting, Voting, and Communication in Collective Action Dilemmas
11 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2009 Last revised: 18 May 2010
Date Written: March 26, 2009
Subjects in collective action experiments like the voluntary contribution mechanism (Davis and Holt, 1993) display varying predispositions ranging from stronger or weaker inclinations to cooperate (including willingness to engage in costly punishment of non-cooperators) to relatively single-minded pursuit of self-interest to costly resistance against the actions of more cooperative individuals. In this paper, I discuss experimental results for three kinds of mechanisms - sorting, voting, and communication - that have been found to foster cooperation in the face of such varied dispositions. In my discussion, I pay special attention to the role played by pro-social, selfish, and anti-social dispositions and their differing appearance within populations.
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