Data for: How does the effect of pre-play suggestions vary with group size? Experimental evidence from a threshold public-good game

Published: 30-11-2016| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/smh9njc3zj.1
Nicholas Feltovich


Abstract of associated article: Numerous studies have examined factors influencing the likelihood of cooperative outcomes in nonzero-sum games, but there has been little study of the interaction between two of the most important: group size and pre-play cheap talk. We report results from an experiment in which groups of size between 2 and 15 play a one-shot multi-player threshold public-good game. In our random leader treatment, all group members select a suggestion (e.g., “Everyone should choose X”), with one randomly chosen to be broadcast to the group. In a choice only treatment, subjects choose suggestions but none is sent, and in a baseline treatment, there are no suggestions at all. We find a negative interaction between group size and this kind of communication: the beneficial effect of both suggestions overall and cooperative suggestions on cooperation, cooperative outcomes, and payoffs decreases sharply as the group size increases. We find a similar negative interaction in a follow-up treatment in which all group members’ suggestions are broadcast to the group. Our results suggest that care should be taken in generalising conclusions from small-group experiments to large groups.