When appealing to the emotions trumps regulation

Comparing the Effectiveness of Regulation and Pro-Social Emotions to Enhance Cooperation: Experimental Evidence from Fishing Communities in Colombia

Abstract: This paper presents the results from a series of framed field experiments conducted in fishing communities off the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The goal is to investigate the relative effectiveness of exogenous regulatory pressure and pro-social emotions in promoting cooperative behavior in a public goods context. The random public revelation of an individual’s contribution and its consequences for the rest of the group leads to significantly higher public good contributions and social welfare than regulatory pressure, even under regulations that are designed to motivate fully efficient contributions.

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