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Type: Journal article
Title: Pledges of commitment and cooperation in partnerships
Author: Deer, L.
Bayer, R.
Citation: Games, 2016; 7(1):4-1-4-16
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2073-4336
Statement of
Lachlan Deer and Ralph-C. Bayer
Abstract: We use experimental methods to investigate whether pledges of commitment can improve cooperation in endogenously-formed partnerships facing a social dilemma. Treatments vary in terms of the individual’s: (1) opportunity to commit to their partner; (2) the cost of dissolving committed partnerships; and (3) the distribution of these dissolution costs between partners. Our findings show that pledges of commitment alone can increase cooperation and welfare in committed partnerships. The introduction of relatively large and equally split costs yields similar gains. In contrast, when costs to dissolve committed partnerships fall solely on the individual choosing to break up, pledges of commitment fail to improve cooperation and welfare.
Keywords: commitment; cooperation; endogenous group formation; experiment
Rights: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (
RMID: 0030043967
DOI: 10.3390/g7010004
Appears in Collections:Economics publications

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