ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

Cooperation and the Strength of Social Ties: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Real Groups

Friday, October 27, 2023 12:10 PM to 1:10 PM EDT
Vernon Smith Hall (formerly Metropolitan Building), 5183

ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

 

The ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the Fall 2023 semester will feature:

Till Weber

University of Newcastle

Cooperation and the Strength of Social Ties: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Real Groups

 

 

Abstract

In an artefactual field experiment with Swiss soldiers attending an army training programme, we investigate how social interactions in randomly allocated real groups strengthen social ties, affect determinants of cooperation and shape cooperative behaviour. Participants were matched with either a “close” person or a “distant” person stranger to them and played a set of one-shot games. Participants in closer social ties are more likely to expect cooperation, less likely to choose payoff maximising strategies and more likely to cooperate themselves. A substantial share of the effect of the strength of social ties is mediated through beliefs. Therefore, closer social ties might contribute additional social information that makes us more inclined to view others as cooperative and cooperate ourselves. In a second study, we investigate how social ties develop over the course of the training programme by measuring perceived closeness to “close” persons (members of their unit) and “distant” persons (members of other units). The perceived strength of social ties increases continuously over the course of the training for close persons but remained low for distant persons. Within a given unit, relationship closeness increases over the course of the training for relatively close and distant ties showing no evidence of a break in group cohesion.

 

For more information about the Seminar Series, please visit the Seminar Schedule homepage.

Add this event to your calendar