Does monitoring past conduct facilitate intertemporal cooperation? We designed an experiment characterized by strategic uncertainty and multiple equilibria where coordinating on the efficient outcome is a challenge. Participants, interacting anonymously in a group, could pay a cost either to obtain information about their counterparts, or to create a freely available public record of individual conduct. Both monitoring institutions were actively employed. However, groups were unable to attain higher levels of cooperation compared to a treatment without monitoring. Information about past conduct alone thus appears to be ineffective in overcoming coordination challenges.
Camera, G., & Casali, M. (2017, Mar 18). Monitoring institutions in indefinitely repeated games. ESI Working Papers 17-12. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/224
Working Paper 17-12