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Preferences for efficiency, rather than preferences for morality, drive cooperation in the one-shot Stag-Hunt game

Valerio Capraro, Ismael Rodriguez-Lara and Maria J. Ruiz-Martos

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2020, vol. 86, issue C

Abstract: 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. To our knowledge, nothing is known on whether moral preferences affect 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 two experiments (total N = 523) to investigate SHG cooperation. Contrary to what has been observed for the PD, we find that SHG cooperation is primarily driven by preferences for efficiency, rather than moral preferences for doing the right thing.

Keywords: Morality; Cooperation; Efficiency; Risky choices; Stag-Hunt game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:soceco:v:86:y:2020:i:c:s2214804319305129

DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2020.101535

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