Civic Capital in Two Cultures: The Nature of Cooperation in Romania and USA

61 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2013

See all articles by Tore Ellingsen

Tore Ellingsen

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics; Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Benedikt Herrmann

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Martin Nowak

Harvard University

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Corina Tarnita

Princeton University - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Date Written: December 28, 2012

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the nature of cooperation in various repeated games, with subjects from Romania and USA. We find stark cross-country differences in the propensity to sustain multilateral cooperation through bilateral rewards and punishments. U.S. groups perform well because sufficiently many cooperators are willing to discipline free riders. Romanian cooperators are less prone to jeopardize their productive bilateral relationships for the benefit of the group, collectively failing to provide adequate discipline. Our analysis indicates that the performance differences constitute a group-level phenomenon, being largely due differences in shared beliefs rather than differences in individuals’ preferences.

JEL Classification: D20, D30

Suggested Citation

Ellingsen, Tore and Herrmann, Benedikt and Nowak, Martin and Rand, David G. and Tarnita, Corina, Civic Capital in Two Cultures: The Nature of Cooperation in Romania and USA (December 28, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4042. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2195514

Tore Ellingsen (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

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Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

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Benedikt Herrmann

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

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Martin Nowak

Harvard University

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David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.daverand.org

Corina Tarnita

Princeton University - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

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