The effect of communication media on cooperation.
We examine how communication affects cooperation with the help of seven standard public goods experiments that only differ with respect to the medium of pre-play communication. Our treatments include bidirectional and unidirectional communication via (mostly electronic) auditory and/or visual channels. The results suggest that successful cooperation is attributable to the opportunity of ‘coordinating’ behavior in the communication phase. Furthermore, both the level and the stability of cooperation significantly interact with the communication medium, even though the content of communication is remarkably similar across the communication treatments.
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