Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/73888
Type: Thesis
Title: Commitment and cooperation in partnerships.
Author: Deer, Lachlan
Issue Date: 2012
School/Discipline: School of Economics
Abstract: This thesis uses experimental methods to investigate whether pledges of commitment can improve cooperation in partnerships facing a social dilemma. In the game studied, subjects form partnerships endogenously and choose contribution levels to a partnership account. The treatments vary in terms of the individual’s (a) opportunity to commit to their partner, (b) the cost of dissolving committed partnerships, and (c) the distribution of these dis-solution costs between partners. I find that pledges of commitment can increase cooperation levels within partnerships. Cooperation increases when committed partnerships can be dissolved without cost due to an increase in partnership stability; stable partnerships are more cooperative. I also find pledges of commitment improve cooperation when it is costly to dissolve a committed partnership. Dissolution costs are most effective when they are shared between committed partners because both partners respond to the threat of costly dissolution. Surprisingly, the increase in average cooperation when committed partnerships can be dissolved without cost is of similar magnitude to the increase when dissolution costs are equally shared between committed partners.
Advisor: Bayer, Ralph-Christopher
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M. Phil.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Economics, 2012.
Keywords: commitment; cooperation; endogenous group formation; experiment
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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