Article

Strong, bold and kind: Self-control and cooperation in social dilemmas

Citation

Kocher M, Martinsson P, Myrseth KO & Wollbrant C (2017) Strong, bold and kind: Self-control and cooperation in social dilemmas. Experimental Economics, 20 (1), pp. 44-69. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10683-015-9475-7

Abstract
We develop a model that relates self-control to cooperation patterns in social dilemmas, and we test the model in a laboratory public goods experiment. As predicted, we find a robust association between stronger self-control and higher levels of cooperation, and the association is at its strongest when the decision maker’s risk aversion is low and the cooperation levels of others high. We interpret the pattern as evidence for the notion that individuals may experience an impulse to act in self-interest—and that cooperative behavior benefits from self-control. Free-riders differ from other contributor types only in their tendency not to have identified a self-control conflict in the first place.

Keywords
experiment; public good; self-control; cooperation; risk;

Journal
Experimental Economics: Volume 20, Issue 1

StatusPublished
FundersSwedish Research Council
Publication date31/03/2017
Publication date online31/01/2016
Date accepted by journal15/12/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/28693
ISSN1386-4157
eISSN1573-6938