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Smart or Selfish - When Smart Guys Finish Nice

Lohse, Johannes

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Abstract

In three different variants of an one-shot public good game I analyze the relationship between cooperation and cognitive abilities, assessed through the cognitive reflection test (CRT). In a between-subjects design, the baseline case is contrasted with two treatment conditions that allow to control for two potentially moderating factors: By employing a test for the presence of confusion, the first condition scrutinizes whether higher cognitive abilities are correlated with cooperation proper or simply grant a better understanding of the incentive structure. The second condition explores the proposition that the link between cognitive abilities and cooperation could depend on the complexity of the decision situation. To exogenously create a cognitively more demanding choice setting, subjects had to decide under time pressure. I find a strong and positive relationship between CRT-scores and cooperation, that is not driven by confusion. Time pressure has a strongly moderating effect on this relationship.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0578
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 15:50
Date: November 2014
Number of Pages: 16
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cooperation, Cognitive Abilities, Confusion, Public Goods, Dual Process Theories.
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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