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Title:Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experimental study on "Broken (and Fixed) Windows" PDF Logo
Authors:Engel, Christoph
Kube, Sebastian
Kurschilgen, Michael
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011,5
Abstract:Cooperation problems are at the heart of many everyday situations. In this paper, we propose a very simple and light-handed mechanism to sustain cooperation and test its performance in a rich laboratory environment. The mechanism moderates cooperation by controlling experiences, more specifically, it manipulates subjects' initial beliefs by providing them with selective information about (un)cooperative behavior in other, unrelated, groups. We observe that contributions are considerably sensitive to such selective information. First impressions participants happen to make predict subsequent behavior. Our results, however, suggest an asymmetry in the strength of the reaction - which might pose a limit on the effectiveness of the mechanism in natural settings.
Subjects:Public Good
Behavioral Uncertainty
Conditional Cooperation
Information
First Impressions
Broken Windows
JEL:C91
D03
D83
H41
K14
K42
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

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