Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||The Analysis of Cooperation in Collective Action Games: Experimental Evidence|
|Abstract:||<p>Economics is often considered a science advanced in theory but lacking in observation. The recent development of the field of experimental economics has permitted economists to test their theories in relatively controlled environments. Economic behaviour is induced by paying subjects based upon their decisions, and assuming that subjects prefer more money to less. If a theory does not predict well under simple conditions, then it should certainly be questioned in more complex, less controlled environments.</p> <p>Experiments cost money -- often a fair amount. Thus, observations are generally limited relative to the data available from the natural economy. The null distribution of many test statistics relies on asymptotic normal results. With small samples, these results are not necessarily accurate. The exact randomization technique was proposed as a method of dealing with small data sets in the natural sciences. To date, it has received little attention from economists.</p> <p>I analyze the properties of the exact randomization test for difference in means and compare them to standard tests experimentalists use to test hypotheses. The exact randomization technique performs well under a variety of assumptions about the distribution of errors, when compared to the t-test and the Mann-Whitney V-test for difference in distributions. By testing the exact randomization technique, this work adds a new tool for data analysis which is particularly suited to analyzing economic data generated in the lab. In addition to the standard tests, I use the exact randomization technique in the analysis of two different collective action games.</p> <p>Collective action games reveal an interesting dichotomy in economic theory. If people in these environments act in a self-interested manner they will do worse than if they cooperate as a group. Economic theory assumes people act in their own self-interest, but a basic axiom of utility theory is that people prefer more to less. By studying subjects' actions in collective action games we gain insight into the motivations behind economic behaviour.</p> <p>In the first experiment, subjects contribute to a public good. Although subjects tend to give more than economic theory predicts, their actions may be better described as strategically motivated than motivated by a warm-glow from the act of giving. In the second, a common-pool resource (CPR) environment is examined. In one treatment, subjects are permitted to monitor the actions of others, while in another, they are also able to levy sanctions against those they catch cheating on some agreement. Costly monitoring increases the appropriation of the CPR, but when sanctioning is permitted, CPR appropriation is constrained. The results from these two experiments suggest that warm-glow does not seem to characterize human economic behaviour, and that policy should focus upon developing governance devices that enable individuals to pursue cooperative endeavours.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.