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

See all articles by Louis Putterman

Louis Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 26, 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Putterman, Louis G., Heterogeneous Predispositions and the Effects of Sorting, Voting, and Communication in Collective Action Dilemmas (March 26, 2009). Context and the Evolution of Mechanisms for Solving Collective Action Problems Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1368879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1368879

Louis G. Putterman (Contact Author)

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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