Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs

Florian Engl*, Arno Riedl, Roberto A. Weber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Most institutions are limited in scope. We study experimentally how enforcement institutions affect behavior, preferences, and beliefs beyond their direct influence over the behaviors they control. Groups play two identical public good games, with cooperation institutionally enforced in one game. Institutions generally have economically significant positive spillover effects to the unregulated game. We also observe that institutions enhance conditional cooperation preferences and beliefs about others' cooperativeness, suggesting that both factors are drivers of observed spillover effects. In additional treatments, we provide evidence for several factors, including characteristics of institutions, that enhance or limit the effectiveness and scope of spillover effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-299
Number of pages39
JournalAmerican Economic Journal-Microeconomics
Volume13
Issue number4
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

JEL classifications

  • d72 - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
  • c92 - Design of Experiments: Laboratory, Group Behavior
  • d02 - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
  • h41 - Public Goods

Keywords

  • beliefs
  • institutions
  • public goods
  • social preferences
  • spillover effect
  • INCENTIVES
  • MOTIVATION
  • MULTIPLE GAMES
  • CULTURE
  • PUBLIC-GOODS
  • CHOICE
  • POLICY
  • PUNISHMENT
  • ENFORCEMENT
  • SOCIAL NORMS

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