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Cooperation among strangers with and without a monetary system

Maria Bigoni (), Gabriele Camera () and Marco Casari ()
Additional contact information
Marco Casari: University of Bologna & IZA

Working Papers from Chapman University, Economic Science Institute

Abstract: Human societies prosper when their members move beyond local exchange and cooperate with outsiders in the creation of wealth. Collaboration of this type presents formidable challenges because interaction is impersonal, reciprocity is unfeasible and trust cannot be easily established. Here we study this cooperation problem by modeling strategic interaction among strangers through an Intertemporal Exchange Game. The setup can be easily implemented in the laboratory to study a variety of cooperation-enhancing institutions. In particular, we study the role of a fiat monetary system by introducing intrinsically worthless tokens that can be offered in exchange for cooperation. The experiments show that a monetary system spontaneously emerges in the laboratory, and is a key institution to promote cooperation among strangers.

Keywords: gift-giving; intertemporal trade; macroeconomic experiments; repeated games; social norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C70 C90 D03 E02 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-mac and nep-soc
Date: 2019
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https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/256/

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:chu:wpaper:19-01

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