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Endogenous Group Formation via Unproductive Costs.

Aimone JA, Iannaccone LR, Makowsky MD, Rubin J - Rev Econ Stud (2013)

Bottom Line: Our subjects play a modified VCM game-one in which they can voluntarily join groups that provide reduced rates of return on private investment.Seemingly unproductive costs thus serve to screen out free-riders, attract conditional cooperators, boost club production, and increase member welfare.The sacrifice mechanism is simple and particularly useful where monitoring difficulties impede punishment, exclusion, fees, and other more standard solutions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute & Baylor University.

ABSTRACT
Sacrifice is widely believed to enhance cooperation in churches, communes, gangs, clans, military units, and many other groups. We find that sacrifice can also work in the lab, apart from special ideologies, identities, or interactions. Our subjects play a modified VCM game-one in which they can voluntarily join groups that provide reduced rates of return on private investment. This leads to both endogenous sorting (because free-riders tend to reject the reduced-rate option) and substitution (because reduced private productivity favours increased club involvement). Seemingly unproductive costs thus serve to screen out free-riders, attract conditional cooperators, boost club production, and increase member welfare. The sacrifice mechanism is simple and particularly useful where monitoring difficulties impede punishment, exclusion, fees, and other more standard solutions.

No MeSH data available.


Composition of groups in first sacrifice round. (A) Sacrifice groups; (B) Non-sacrifice groups
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f5: Composition of groups in first sacrifice round. (A) Sacrifice groups; (B) Non-sacrifice groups

Mentions: The net effect of all this self-screening is seen in Figure 5, which contrasts the resulting composition of sacrifice versus non-sacrifice groups. As one might expect, the results strongly support the prediction (#2) that sacrifice groups end up with fewer free-riders and more conditional cooperators. Again, the difference is substantial. In the first Sacrifice round, Free-riders account for 32% of Non-Sacrifice group membership but only 10% of Sacrifice group membership.30 In contrast, conditional cooperators account for 63% of Sacrifice group membership but only 41% of Non-Sacrifice group membership.31


Endogenous Group Formation via Unproductive Costs.

Aimone JA, Iannaccone LR, Makowsky MD, Rubin J - Rev Econ Stud (2013)

Composition of groups in first sacrifice round. (A) Sacrifice groups; (B) Non-sacrifice groups
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3814943&req=5

f5: Composition of groups in first sacrifice round. (A) Sacrifice groups; (B) Non-sacrifice groups
Mentions: The net effect of all this self-screening is seen in Figure 5, which contrasts the resulting composition of sacrifice versus non-sacrifice groups. As one might expect, the results strongly support the prediction (#2) that sacrifice groups end up with fewer free-riders and more conditional cooperators. Again, the difference is substantial. In the first Sacrifice round, Free-riders account for 32% of Non-Sacrifice group membership but only 10% of Sacrifice group membership.30 In contrast, conditional cooperators account for 63% of Sacrifice group membership but only 41% of Non-Sacrifice group membership.31

Bottom Line: Our subjects play a modified VCM game-one in which they can voluntarily join groups that provide reduced rates of return on private investment.Seemingly unproductive costs thus serve to screen out free-riders, attract conditional cooperators, boost club production, and increase member welfare.The sacrifice mechanism is simple and particularly useful where monitoring difficulties impede punishment, exclusion, fees, and other more standard solutions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute & Baylor University.

ABSTRACT
Sacrifice is widely believed to enhance cooperation in churches, communes, gangs, clans, military units, and many other groups. We find that sacrifice can also work in the lab, apart from special ideologies, identities, or interactions. Our subjects play a modified VCM game-one in which they can voluntarily join groups that provide reduced rates of return on private investment. This leads to both endogenous sorting (because free-riders tend to reject the reduced-rate option) and substitution (because reduced private productivity favours increased club involvement). Seemingly unproductive costs thus serve to screen out free-riders, attract conditional cooperators, boost club production, and increase member welfare. The sacrifice mechanism is simple and particularly useful where monitoring difficulties impede punishment, exclusion, fees, and other more standard solutions.

No MeSH data available.