Does Sharing Values Lead to Cooperation? A Similarity-Based Investigation
24 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2012
Date Written: January 27, 2012
Understanding what motivates and fosters collective actions has major implications in the regulation and design of public policies, in the governance and management of organizations and has long attracted the interests of scholars and practitioners in economics and business. If trust and reciprocity certainly qualify as possible drivers of collective actions in some specific environments, as the uncertainty regarding the interaction structure increases, they are not likely to be able to explain the emergence of stable interacting groups. This paper deals with how groups of agents emerge in a dynamic contest characterized by lack of formal structure and uncertainty regarding the possible individual outcomes. Through the development of a stylized agent-based model we aim to show how similarity in values can be a successful driver for cooperation. A second-version of the model, where memory of past interactions has a role, introduces further dynamics and is able to create successful and relatively stable groups. The model nicely tries some stylized facts and sheds some light on potential avenues for the resolution of social dilemmas, such as contribution to public goods, addressing the role of perceived similarity in nurturing the cooperative process.
Keywords: Similarity, Social trust, Cooperation, Groups
JEL Classification: B41, D74, D85
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation