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Department of Economics, WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) Working papers, Department of Economics, WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)

No 161:
Strategic signaling or emotional sanctioning? An experimental study of ex post communication in a repeated public goods game

Adam Zylbersztejn ()

Abstract: Several experimental studies show that ex post communication mitigates opportunistic behavior in social dilemmas. The source of this effect, especially in a repeated interaction, is nonetheless still obscure. This study provides a novel empirical testbed for two channels by which ex post communication may affect behavior in a repeated public goods game. One is related to strategic signaling. The other involves emotions induced by others' expressed disapproval. The presence of ex post communication strongly fosters pro-social behavior. The data do not support the signaling hypothesis, favouring the emotion-based explanation instead.

Keywords: Public goods game, Voluntary Contribution Mechanism, Ex post communication; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C72,; D83; (follow links to similar papers)

January 2014

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