Experimental Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 399–411 | Cite as

An experimental analysis of team production in networks

  • Enrique FatasEmail author
  • Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez
  • Hector Solaz


Experimental and empirical evidence highlights the role of networks on social outcomes. This paper tests the properties of exogenously fixed networks in team production. Subjects make the same decisions in a team work environment under four different organizational networks: the line, the circle, the star, and the complete network. In all the networks, links make information available to neighbors. This design allows us to analyze decisions across networks and a variety of subject types in a standard linear team production game. Contribution levels differ significantly across networks and the star is the most efficient incomplete network. Moreover, our results suggest that subjects act as conditional cooperators with respect to the information received from the network.


Team production Networks Information 

JEL Classification

C92 H41 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

10683_2010_9248_MOESM1_ESM.doc (474 kb)
(DOC 484 KB)
10683_2010_9248_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (654 kb)
(PDF 669 KB)


  1. Andreoni, J., & Petrie, R. (2004). Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising. Journal of Public Economics, 88, 1605–1623. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berninghaus, S. K., Ehrhart, K., & Ott, M. (2006). A network experiment in continuous time: the influence of link costs. Experimental Economics, 9, 237–251. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berninghaus, S. K., Ehrhart, K., Ott, M., & Vogt, B. (2007). Evolution of networks—an experimental analysis. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 17, 317–347. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Callander, S., & Plott, C. R. (2005). Principles of network development and evolution: an experimental study. Journal of Public Economics, 89, 1469–1495. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carpenter, J. P. (2007). Punishing free-riders: how group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods. Games and Economic Behavior, 60, 31–55. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cason, T., & Khan, F. (1999). A laboratory study of voluntary public goods provision with imperfect monitoring and communication. Journal of Development Economics, 58, 533–552. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cassar, A. (2007). Coordination and cooperation in local, random and small world networks: experimental evidence. Games and Economic Behavior, 58, 209–230. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Choi, S., Gale, D., & Kariv, S. (2005). Behavioral aspects of learning in social networks: an experimental study. In J. Morgan (Ed.) Behavioral and experimental economics: Vol. 13. Advances in applied microeconomics. Google Scholar
  9. Croson, R., & Marks, M. (1998). Identifiability of individual contributions in a threshold public goods experiment. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 42, 167–190. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deck, C., & Johnson, C. (2004). Link bidding in a laboratory experiment. Review of Economic Design, 8(4), 359–372. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eckel, C., Fatas, E., & Wilson, R. (2009, forthcoming). An experimental analysis of status in organizations. Journal of Public Economic Theory. Google Scholar
  12. Falk, A., & Kosfeld, M. (2003). It’s all about connections: evidence on network formation (IZA discussion paper no. 777). Google Scholar
  13. Fatas, E., Godoy, S., & Solaz, H. (2009). Low powered monitoring systems in team production: an experimental analysis (LINEEX working paper). University of Valencia. Google Scholar
  14. Fatas, E., Meléndez-Jiménez, M. A., & Solaz, H. (2008). Cooperation, punishment and networks (Mimeo). LINEEX. Google Scholar
  15. Fatas, E., Meléndez-Jiménez, M. A., & Solaz, H. (2010). An experimental analysis of team production in networks (Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 2010-03). ERICES (available at
  16. Fischbacher, U. (2007). z-tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments. Experimental Economics, 10(2), 171–178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fischbacher, U., Gächter, S., & Fehr, E. (2001). Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment. Economic Letters, 71(3), 397–404. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fox, J., & Guyer, M. (1978). Public choice and cooperation in n-person prisoner’s dilemma. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 22(3), 469–481. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gachter, S., Fehr, E., & Kment, C. (1996). Does social exchange increase voluntary cooperation? Kyklos, 49(4), 541–554. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goyal, S. (2005). Learning in networks. In G. Demange & M. Wooders (Eds.), Group formation in economics: networks, clubs and coalitions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  21. Jackson, M. O. (2005). A survey of network formation models: stability and efficiency. In: G. Demange & M. Wooders (Eds.), Group formation in economics: networks, clubs and coalitions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  22. Kirchkamp, O., & Nagel, R. (2007). Naive learning and cooperation in network experiments. Games and Economic Behavior, 58, 269–292. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kosfeld, M. (2004). Economic networks in the laboratory: a survey. Review of Network Economics, 3, 20–41. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ledyard, J. (1995). Public goods: a survey of experimental research. In A. Roth & J. Kagel (Eds.), The Handbook of Experimental Economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Google Scholar
  25. Liang, K.-Y., & Zeger, S. L. (1986). Longitudinal data analysis using generalized linear models. Biometrika, 73, 13–22. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Riedl, A., & Ule, A. (2002). Exclusion and cooperation in social network experiments (Mimeo). University of Amsterdam. Google Scholar
  27. Zelmer, J. (2003). Linear public goods experiments: a meta-analysis. Experimental Economics, 6(3), 299–310. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrique Fatas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez
    • 2
  • Hector Solaz
    • 1
  1. 1.LINEEXUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Teoría e Historia EconómicaUniversidad de MálagaMálagaSpain

Personalised recommendations