Rich communication, social motivations, and coordinated resistance against divide-and-conquer: A laboratory investigation

Timothy N Cason, Vai-Lam Mui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a laboratory experiment to investigate how social motivations and free-form communication (Rich Communication) can facilitate coordinated resistance against divide-and-conquer transgressions. In our experiment, a leader first decides whether to extract surplus from a victim and shares it with a beneficiary. We find that the successful joint resistance rate increases almost four-fold (from 15 to 58 ) when moving from more restrictive communication treatments to Rich Communication. We also find that the significant impacts of Rich Communication are driven more by the responders ability to send free-form messages rather than the multiple and iterative opportunities to indicate intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146 - 159
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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