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Can Formal Institutions Lead to the Spillover Effect of Cooperation?

Mekvabishvili, Rati (2021): Can Formal Institutions Lead to the Spillover Effect of Cooperation? Published in: Theoretical Economic Letters , Vol. 2, No. 11 (31 March 2021): pp. 186-193.

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Abstract

Can formal institutions shape prosocial behavior and lead to the spillover effect of cooperation? To explore this question, we experimentally test the spillover- based theory in a novel context. We measured the spillover effect on cooperation in the same domain measured by the repeated anonymous public goods game. We found strong evidence of altruism. Our results are inconsistent with prediction of the spillover-based theory. Our finding suggests that exposure to strong formal institutions that provide top-down motivation for cooperation substantially improves cooperation in their presence, but do not seem to lead to more prosociality after their absence.

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