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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 6 No. 1 (February 2014)

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The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence

Article Citation

Camera, Gabriele, and Marco Casari. 2014. "The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 6(1): 290-314.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.6.1.290

Abstract

What institutions can sustain cooperation in groups of strangers? Here we study the role of monetary systems. In an experiment, subjects sometimes needed help and sometimes could incur a cost to help an anonymous counterpart. In the absence of money, the intertemporal exchange of help, which could be supported by a norm of community punishment of defectors, did not emerge. Introducing intrinsically worthless tokens substantially altered patterns of behavior. Monetary trade emerged, which increased predictability of play and promoted cooperation when strangers could trade help for a token.

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Online Appendix (521.61 KB) | Download Data Set (201.51 KB) | Author Disclosure Statement(s) (115.80 KB)

Authors

Camera, Gabriele (Economic Science Institute, Chapman U)
Casari, Marco (U Bologna)

JEL Classifications

C71: Cooperative Games
C73: Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
D40: Market Structure and Pricing: General
E42: Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems

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