Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas

48 Pages Posted: 1 May 2013

See all articles by Martin G. Kocher

Martin G. Kocher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance; Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law; Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance

Peter Martinsson

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics

Kristian Ove R. Myrseth

University of York

Conny E. Wollbrant

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law

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Date Written: April 30, 2013

Abstract

We develop a model that relates self-control and conflict identification to cooperation patterns in social dilemmas. As predicted, we find in a laboratory public goods experiment a robust association between stronger self-control and higher levels of cooperation. This means that there is evidence for an impulse to be selfish and that cooperative behavior requires self-control effort. Free-riders differ from other contributor types only in their tendency not to have identified a self-control conflict in the first place.

Keywords: self-control, cooperation, public good, risk, experiment

JEL Classification: C910, D030, H400

Suggested Citation

Kocher, Martin G. and Martinsson, Peter and Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. and Wollbrant, Conny E., Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas (April 30, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4200. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2258344

Martin G. Kocher (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

Stumpergasse 56
A-1060 Vienna, A-1060
Austria

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

Peter Martinsson

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Kristian Ove R. Myrseth

University of York ( email )

Sally Baldwin Buildings
Heslington
York, North Yorkshire YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Conny E. Wollbrant

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

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