Collective Action: Experimental Evidence

54 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2015 Last revised: 10 Feb 2015

See all articles by Maria Victoria Anauati

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Brian Feld

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Economics

Sebastian Galiani

University of Maryland - Department of Economics

Gustavo Torrens

Indiana University

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Date Written: February 2015

Abstract

We conducted a laboratory experiment to test the comparative statics predictions of a new approach to collective action games based on the method of stability sets. We find robust support for the main theoretical predictions. As we increase the payoff of a successful collective action (accruing to all players and only to those who contribute), the share of cooperators increases. The experiment also points to new avenues for refining the theory. We find that, as the payoff of a successful collective action increases, subjects tend to upgrade their prior beliefs as to the expected share of cooperators. Although this does not have a qualitative effect on comparative static predictions, using the reported distribution of beliefs rather than an ad hoc uniform distribution reduces the gap between theoretical predictions and observed outcomes. This finding also allows to decompose the mechanism that leads to more cooperation into a ”belief effect” and a ”range of cooperation effect”.

Suggested Citation

Anauati, Maria Victoria and Feld, Brian and Galiani, Sebastian and Torrens, Gustavo, Collective Action: Experimental Evidence (February 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w20936, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562207

Maria Victoria Anauati (Contact Author)

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Brian Feld

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Economics ( email )

Champaign, IL
United States

Sebastian Galiani

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Gustavo Torrens

Indiana University ( email )

Wylie Hall, 100 S Woodland Ave
Bloomington, IN 47405-7104
United States
8128568131 (Phone)

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