Can We Manage First Impressions in Cooperation Problems? An Experimental

36 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2011 Last revised: 30 Sep 2014

See all articles by Christoph Engel

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Sebastian Kube

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

Michael J. Kurschilgen

Technical University Munich; Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

We study how cooperative behavior reacts to selective (favorable or unfavorable) pre-play information about the cooperativeness of other, unrelated groups within an experimental framework that is sufficiently rich for conflicting behavioral norms to emerge. We find that cooperation crucially depends on pre-play information, coinciding with a change in initial beliefs. Over time, behavior within both types of groups becomes increasingly homogeneous, indicating the formation of two rather different social norms, depending on whether pre-play information was favorable or unfavorable. In addition, we find unfavorable information to substantially reduce the effectiveness of peer punishment. For these differences to emerge it is immaterial whether each member or only one member of a four-person group receives the pre-play information.

Keywords: experiment, information, Norms, cooperation, Effectiveness of Sanctions, Expectations

JEL Classification: H41, D63, C90

Suggested Citation

Engel, Christoph and Kube, Sebastian and Kurschilgen, Michael J., Can We Manage First Impressions in Cooperation Problems? An Experimental (May 2014). MPI Collective Goods Preprint No. 2011/5, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1788915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1788915

Christoph Engel (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
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

Sebastian Kube

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 Bonn

BWL 1
Adenauerallee 24-42
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Michael J. Kurschilgen

Technical University Munich ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
München, 80333
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mecon.wi.tum.de/index.php?id=28

Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/michael_kurschilgen

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