Title

Cooperating to Resist Coercion: An Experimental Study

Department

Economics, Finance, & Quantitative Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-31-2011

Abstract

This study sheds light on the difficulties people face in cooperating to resist coercion. We adapt a threshold public goods game to investigate whether people are able to cooperate to resist coercion despite individual incentives to free-ride. Behavior in this resistance game is similar to that observed in multi-period public goods games. Specifically, we observe out-of-equilibrium outcomes and a decrease in successful resistance in later periods of a session compared to earlier ones. Nevertheless, cooperation remains relatively high even in the later periods. Finally, we find that increasing the resistance threshold has a substantial negative effect on the probability of successful resistance.