Stand by Me - Experiments on help and commitment in coordination games

Brandts, Jordi, Cooper, David J., Fatas, Enrique and Shi, Qi (2016) Stand by Me - Experiments on help and commitment in coordination games. Management Science, 62 (10). 2916–2936. ISSN 0025-1909

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We present experiments studying how high ability individuals use help to foster efficient coordination. After an initial phase that traps groups in a low productivity equilibrium, incentives to coordinate are increased, making it possible to escape this performance trap. The design varies whether high ability individuals can offer help and, if so, whether they must commit to help for an extended period. If help is chosen on a round by round basis, the probability of escaping the performance trap is slightly reduced by allowing for help. The likelihood of success significantly improves if high ability individuals must commit to help for an extended time period. We develop and estimate a structural model of sophisticated learning that provides an explanation for why commitment is necessary. The key insight is that potential leaders who are overly optimistic about their ability to teach their followers are too fast to eliminate help in the absence of commitment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Data, as supplemental material, are available at: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work, but you must attribute this work as “Management Science. Copyright 2015 INFORMS., used under a Creative Commons Attribution License:”
Uncontrolled Keywords: incentives,coordination,experiments,organizations,heterogenous work teams
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Behavioural Economics
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 22:32
DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2015.2269


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