Is cooperation instinctive? Evidence from the response times in a public goods game
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We use data on response times from a public goods experiment to test the hypothesis that cooperation is instinctive, under the assumption that the longer the time of the decision, the less instinctive the choice. Results seem to support the hypothesis that cooperation is instinctive, while defection is ‘rational’. Moreover, as the experiment is designed also to assess the effects of the consumption of relational goods on cooperation, we are also able to state that some types of relational goods, like team working, produce additional cooperation, but make it less spontaneous. We also detect that females seem to behave less instinctively than males.
KeywordsResponse times Cooperation Public goods experiments Gender effect
JEL ClassificationC91 D03 H41
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