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Kocher, Martin G.; Martinsson, Peter; Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. and Wollbrant, Conny (March 2013): Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas. Working Papers in Economics - University of Gothenburg, 523 [PDF, 551kB]

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We develop a model that relates self-control and conflict identification to cooperation patterns in social dilemmas. As predicted, we find in a laboratory public goods experiment a robust association between stronger self-control and higher levels of cooperation. This means that there is evidence for an impulse to be selfish and that cooperative behavior requires self-control effort. Free-riders differ from other contributor types only in their tendency not to have identified a self-control conflict in the first place.

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