Justification and cooperation
Erte Xiao ()
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
The need for justification is a widely observed social phenomenon. This paper develops a theoretical framework and reports laboratory evidence to show how pure justification pressure affects cooperative behavior in economic exchange environments. In a one-shot anonymous interaction, compared with the case when the behavior is simply observed by the audience, individuals are more likely to act on what they believe the audience thinks they should do when they also have to explain the decisions to the audience. When it is salient that the audience thinks one should cooperate, justification pressure significantly promotes cooperation even absent negative consequences for non-cooperative behavior. We discuss the implications of our findings for shaping institutional design to promote cooperation.
Keywords: justification; accountability; cooperation; social norms; experimental economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 D03 D63 D83 D84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/36576/1/MPRA_paper_36576.pdf revised version (application/pdf)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/37084/1/MPRA_paper_37084.pdf revised version (application/pdf)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:36120
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