Preferences for Efficiency, Rather Than Preferences for Morality, Drive Cooperation in the One-Shot Stag-Hunt Game
7 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 8, 2019
Recent work highlights that cooperation in the one-shot Prisoner’s dilemma (PD) is primarily driven by moral preferences for doing the right thing, rather than social preferences for equity or efficiency. By contrast, little is known on what motivates cooperation in the Stag-Hunt Game (SHG). Cooperation in the SHG fundamentally differs from cooperation in the PD in that it is not costly, but risky: players have no temptation to deviate from the cooperative outcome, but cooperation only pays off if the other player cooperates. Here, we provide data from a large (N=436), pre-registered, experiment. Contrary to what has been observed for the PD, we find that SHG cooperation is primarily driven by preferences for efficiency, rather than preferences for doing the right thing.
Keywords: morality, cooperation, efficiency, risky choices, stag-hunt game.
JEL Classification: C70, C71, C72, D01, D03, D63, D64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation