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Trust and Communication in a Property Rights Dilemma

Ahn T.k, Loukas Balafoutas, Mongoljin Batsaikhan (), Francisco Campos Ortiz, Louis Putterman and Matthias Sutter ()

No 2016-5, Working Papers from Brown University, Department of Economics

Abstract: We study a laboratory social dilemma game in which incentives to steal from others lead to the socially inefficient diversion of resources from production unless the members of a given minisociety can abide by norms of non-theft or engage in low cost collective protection of their membersí wealth accumulations. We compare two treatments in which subjects have opportunities to exchange free-form messages to one without such opportunities, finding that most subjects allocate far less to theft and most groups achieve much greater efficiency in the presence of communication. Ease of identifying who has engaged in theft varies across the two communication treatments, but is of minor importance to the outcome. We find several coding-amenable elements of message content to be statistically significant predictors of group and individual outcomes.

Date: 2016
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-his and nep-hpe
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Journal Article: Trust and communication in a property rights dilemma (2018) Downloads
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