European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Department of Economics Working Papers,
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics

Strategic signaling or emotional sanctioning? An experimental study of ex post communication in a repeated public goods game

Adam Zylbersztejn ()
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Adam Zylbersztejn: Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business

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

JEL-codes: C72; D83 January 2014

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