“Read my Lips!" Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Electoral Competition on Shirking and Trust

Date: 2014-11-30
By: Gari Walkowitz (University of Cologne)
Arne R. Weiss (University of Cologne)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cgr:cgsser:05-07&r=net
We experimentally test whether electoral competition reduces shirking behavior by office-holders and increases citizens’ trust. We hypothesize that competition increases campaign promises by office-holders, who feel committed to what they promise. Using a novel repeated multi-person investment-game with periodic elections, we indeed find that elected office-holders shirk less (i.e., they back-transfer more to citizens relative to investments) as compared to randomly appointed office-holders. Surprisingly, this effect cannot be explained through competition inflating the level of electoral promises. Nevertheless, promises do matter; in fact, they carry greater weight for the behavior of elected office-holders than for their randomly appointed counterparts. Elections also have a positive short-term effect on citizens’ trust by cutting off both low and excessively high promises.
Keywords: elections, promises, shirking, trust game
JEL: D72 D02 D03 C71 C91

Social Capital to Induce a Contribution to Environmental Collective Action in Indonesia: An Experimental Method

Date: 2014
By: Alin Halimatussadiah
Budy P. Resosudarmo
Diah Widyawati
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pas:papers:2014-03&r=net
Social capital is considered to be an important factor in economic development. It is argued that it generates a flow of (economic) benefits through collective action, by reducing free riding and increasing individual contribution. This study examines whether social capital increases individual contribution in a collective action situation. Using a classroom experiment, two games are played in a sequential manner: a trust game to measure level of trust–as a proxy for social capital–and a public goods game to measure individual contribution to collective action. In the public goods game, we apply some treatments to look at the impact of partial disclosure of a group member’s behaviour in the trust game on contributions in the public goods game. In general, the result shows that the level of social capital positively impacts individual contribution to collective action. However, we found no significant evidence to support the impact of partial disclosure of a group member’s behaviour in the trust game on contributions in the public goods game.
Keywords: Social Capital, Collective Action, Trust Game, Public Goods Game
JEL: A14 C91 C92