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Moving from individual cooperation to large scale collective action - which factors are likely to survive?

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Department of Economics

Short description

There exist quite significant amount of research and knowledge about which factors that have a positive effect on cooperation and hence collective action. For example, trust, sanctions (punishment) and strong leaders all have been shown to have a positive impact on contributing to a public good (referred to as cooperation) in experimental settings. However, it is less clear how such factors would affect cooperation in large scale social dilemmas.

This project aims to contribute to the literature on large scale collective action by developing a conceptual model and theoretical framework to understand the effects of scaling up individual factors to a large scale context.

To begin with we will identify a set of important distinguishing factors between small and large scale; for example, number of agents, representation, cross-border etc. Next we will look at a set of factors that we know affect cooperation at the small scale. For example; what could be the effect of trust in a large scale context? Will trust built between groups in a society or country by default lead to increased cooperation on a country level or can it lead to more conflict since identity of groups have increased through trust?

Researchers (länkas till nya katalogen)

Fredrik Carlsson and Åsa Löfgren, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Andreas Lange, Hamburg University and a visting professor at the University of Gothenburg and Timo Goeschel, Heidelberg University. The affiliated researchers are well-known economists working on social dilemmas, in particular voluntary actions related to climate change.