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Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by TILEC DP 2011-055)

M. Serra Garcia, Eric van Damme and Jan Potters
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M. Serra Garcia: Tilburg University, TILEC

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Marta Serra-Garcia

No 2010-016, Discussion Paper from Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center

Abstract: We compare signaling by words and actions in a one-shot 2-person public good game with private information. The informed player, who knows the exact return from contributing, can signal by contributing first (actions) or by sending a costless message (words). Words can be about the return or about her contribution decision. Theoretically, actions lead to fully efficient contributions. Words can be as influential as actions, and thus elicit the uninformed player's contribution, but allow the informed player to free-ride. The exact language used is not expected to matter. Experimentally, we fnd that words can be as influential as actions. Free-riding, however, does depend on the language: the informed player free-rides less when she talks about her contribution than when she talks about the returns.

Keywords: C72; D82; D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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