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Pledges of commitment and cooperation in partnerships


Deer, Lachlan; Bayer, Ralph-C (2016). Pledges of commitment and cooperation in partnerships. Games, 7(1):Article 4.

Abstract

We use experimental methods to investigate whether pledges of commitment can improve cooperation in endogenously-formed partnerships facing a social dilemma. Treatments vary in terms of the individual’s: (1) opportunity to commit to their partner; (2) the cost of dissolving committed partnerships; and (3) the distribution of these dissolution costs between partners. Our findings show that pledges of commitment alone can increase cooperation and welfare in committed partnerships. The introduction of relatively large and equally split costs yields similar gains. In contrast, when costs to dissolve committed partnerships fall solely on the individual choosing to break up, pledges of commitment fail to improve cooperation and welfare.

Abstract

We use experimental methods to investigate whether pledges of commitment can improve cooperation in endogenously-formed partnerships facing a social dilemma. Treatments vary in terms of the individual’s: (1) opportunity to commit to their partner; (2) the cost of dissolving committed partnerships; and (3) the distribution of these dissolution costs between partners. Our findings show that pledges of commitment alone can increase cooperation and welfare in committed partnerships. The introduction of relatively large and equally split costs yields similar gains. In contrast, when costs to dissolve committed partnerships fall solely on the individual choosing to break up, pledges of commitment fail to improve cooperation and welfare.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Commitment, cooperation, endogenous group formation, experiment
Date:January 2016
Deposited On:26 Jan 2016 16:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:02
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2073-4336
Additional Information:This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/g7010004
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/111831/

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