ERC Project COOPERATION
Welcome to ERC Project COOPERATION 295707 which was active from May 2012 through April 2017. Please feel free to explore what COOPERATION was about and learn more about its research, the publications, the people of the project, the software developed by the project, the visitors welcomed by the project, and the workshops hosted by the project. We will update this project website with our new research coming out of COOPERATION. Here is a summary of the ambitions of COOPERATION:
Many important social problems—from the workplace to climate change—require the cooperation of individuals in situations in which collective welfare is jeopardized by self-interest and contractual solutions that align collective and individual interest are not feasible. While this suggests a bleak outcome if people are selfish, recent research in the behavioural sciences suggests that rather than being selfish, many people are non-strategic 'strong reciprocators' who cooperate if others cooperate and who punish unfair behaviour even if such cooperation or punishment is individually costly. The fundamental importance of strong reciprocity is that is helps achieving cooperation in situations in which self-interest predicts its breakdown.
The major ambition and innovation of this research programme is to "put strong reciprocity into context" by investigating how incentives, social and cultural context, and gender and personality differences, shape strong reciprocity and, as a consequence, cooperation.
ERC Project COOPERATION comprises four linked research themes, which all address key questions of interest to economists and other behavioural scientists. All projects use economic experiments and insights from across the behavioural sciences. The overarching objective is to develop a 'behavioural economics of cooperation', that is, the basic science of relevant behavioural principles that are needed to achieve sustainable cooperation.
Professor Simon Gaechter
Psychology of Economic Decision Making
University of Nottingham
School of Economics