nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒05‒01
three papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The shirker’s dilemma and the prospect of cooperation in large groups By Peña, Jorge; Heifetz, Aviad; Nöldeke, Georg
  2. Prosocial Behavior and the Individual Normative Standard of Fairness within a Dynamic Context: Experimental Evidence By Mekvabishvili, Rati; Mekvabishvili, Elguja; Natsvaladze, Marine; Sirbiladze, Rusudan; Mzhavanadze, Giorgi; Deisadze, Salome
  3. Rooting for the Same Team: On the Interplay between Political and Social Identities in the Formation of Social Ties By Nicolás Ajzenman; Bruno Ferman; Pedro C. Sant’Anna

  1. By: Peña, Jorge; Heifetz, Aviad; Nöldeke, Georg
    Abstract: Cooperation usually becomes harder to sustain as groups become larger because in-centives to shirk increase with the number of potential contributors to a collective action. But is this always the case? Here we study a binary-action cooperative dilemma where a public good is provided only when at most a fixed number of players shirk from a costly, cooperative task. An example is a group of prey which succeeds to drive a predator away only if few group members refrain from engaging in conspicuous mobbing. We find that at the stable polymorphic equilibrium, which exists when the cost of cooperation is low enough, the probability of cooperating increases with group size and reaches a limit of one when the group size tends to infinity. Nevertheless, increasing the group size may increase or decrease the probability that the public good is provided at such equilibrium. We also prove that the expected payoff to individuals at the stable equilibrium (i.e., their fitness) decreases with group size. For costs of cooperation that are low enough, both the probability of provision of the public good and the expected payoff converge to positive values in the limit of large group sizes. However, we also find that the basin of attraction of the stable polymorphic equilibrium is a decreasing function of group size and shrinks to zero in the limit of very large groups. Overall, we demonstrate non-trivial comparative statics with respect to group size in a simple collective action problem.
    Date: 2023–04–11
  2. By: Mekvabishvili, Rati; Mekvabishvili, Elguja; Natsvaladze, Marine; Sirbiladze, Rusudan; Mzhavanadze, Giorgi; Deisadze, Salome
    Abstract: In this paper, we present an experimental study of prosocial behavior and individual normative standards of fairness under the novel context of a dynamic dictator game. In addition, we explore the role of informal institutions in shaping individuals’ cooperation within the domain of a public goods game under its direct exposure and in subsequent prosociality beyond its reach in the domain of the dictator game. We find that dictators’ average offers in our study are quite close to the typical results found in other dictator game experiments and they are quite stable over two periods. However, dictators become more selfish after they have had the experience of playing a public goods game with peer punishment. Interestingly, we found that dictators act significantly more selfishly relative to their own declared individual normative standard of fairness. Furthermore, our experiment reveals a large share of antisocial punishment in the public goods game and a peer-to-peer punishment mechanism to be an inefficient tool to promote cooperation, however in an environment that rules out a suitable normative consensus and collective choice.
    Keywords: dictator game; individual normative standard of fairness; dynamics of behavior; spillover; prosociality; public goods game;
    JEL: C73 C92 D02 H41
    Date: 2023–02–04
  3. By: Nicolás Ajzenman (McGill University); Bruno Ferman (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV); Pedro C. Sant’Anna (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV)
    Abstract: We study the interplay between political and other social identities in the formation of social ties in a setting of intense affective polarization. We created fictional accounts on Twitter that signaled their political preference for one of the two leading candidates in the Brazilian 2022 Presidential election, their preference for a Brazilian football club, or both. We interpret preference for a football club as an affective dimension of identity. The bots randomly followed Twitter accounts with congruent and incongruent identities across these two dimensions, and we computed the proportion of follow-backs and blocks they received. Both dimensions of identity are relevant in forming ties, but the effect of sharing a political identity is significantly greater. Moreover, affective identity becomes substantially less relevant when information about political identity is available, indicating that political identity can overshadow other dimensions of identity. Still, shared affective identity has a positive effect in fostering ties even among politically opposite individuals. This result suggests that shared identities such as preference for a football club have the potential to reduce politically induced societal divides, despite the evidence that affective polarization may diminish this effect.
    Keywords: Social Identity; Affective Polarization; Brazilian Elections; Social Media.
    JEL: D72 D91 C93 Z20
    Date: 2023–04

This nep-cdm issue is ©2023 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.