A Bayesian model of quasi-magical thinking can explain observed cooperation in the public good game

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Models of learning, reciprocity and altruism cannot explain all aspects of observed contributions in the public good game. Here a new model is described in which players recognize a correlation between their own contribution and the likely contributions of other players. The correlation is calculated by treating a player's own conjectured contribution just like any other data point within a learning model. Although players recognize that this correlation is not causal, they nevertheless choose to maximize expected utility conditional on their own action rather than standard expected utility. Results from the model explain previously puzzling quantitative trends in the data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-231
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Keywords

  • Conditional expected utility
  • Rationality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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