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Transparency, asymmetric information and cooperation

Gianna Lotito, Matteo Migheli () and Guido Ortona ()

European Journal of Law and Economics, 2020, vol. 50, issue 2, No 4, 267-294

Abstract: Abstract We inquire experimentally whether asymmetric information in competitive settings and competition per se influence individual social behaviour. Participants perform a task and are remunerated according to two schemes, a non-competitive and a competitive one, then they play a standard public goods game. In the first scheme participants earn a flat remuneration, in the other they are ranked according to their performance and remunerated accordingly. Information about ranking and income before the game is played varies across three different treatments. We find that competition per se does not affect the amount of contribution. The time spent to choose how much to contribute is negatively correlated with the decision of cooperating fully. The main result is that full information about the relative performance in the competitive environment enhances the cooperation, while partial information reduces it.

Keywords: Incomplete contracts; Asymmetric information; Competition; Cooperation; Public goods; Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D80 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10657-020-09669-z

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