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Promises and cooperation: Evidence from a TV game show

Michèle Belot (), V Bhaskar and Jeroen van de Ven ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2010, vol. 73, issue 3, 396-405

Abstract: We study the role of communication in a high stakes prisoner's dilemma, using data from a television game show. 40 Percent of the players voluntarily promise to cooperate, and these players are 50 percentage points more likely to cooperate than players who do not volunteer a promise. However, promises that arise in response to an explicit question by the presenter of the show are uninformative about behavior. These results augment and qualify recent experimental findings on communication--people do not want to volunteer lies but may have no compunction in lying if they feel compelled to do so.

Keywords: Cheap; talk; Communication; Promises; Cooperation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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