The Impact of Cash Mobs in the Vote with the Wallet Game: Experimental Results.

Becchetti LeonardoFiaschetti MaurizioSalustri Francesco
CEIS Research Paper
We simulate in a randomised lab experiment the effect of Cash Mobs on consumers’ behaviour in an original variant of the multiplayer Prisoner’s dilemma called Vote-with-the-Wallet Game (VWG). The effect is modelled in a sequential game with/without an environmental frame in which a subset of players (cash-mobbers) is given the opportunity to reveal publicly (in aggregate without disclosing individual identities) their cooperation decision. We find that the treatment has a positive gross effect, that is, the share of cooperators is significantly higher in treated sessions and this is mainly due to the higher share of cooperators among cash-mobbers. Our results suggest that cash mobs-like mechanisms can help to solve social dilemmas with entirely private solutions (not based on punishment but on positive action) without costs for government budgets.

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Number: 401
Keywords: vote with the wallet, prisoner’s dilemma, randomised experiment
JEL codes: C72,C73,C91,M14
Volume: 15
Issue: 3
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Revision Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017