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Department of Psychology Social and Economic Psychology

New publication: "A 'More-is-Better' heuristic in anticommons dilemmas: Psychological insights from a new anticommons bargaining game"

New paper published in the Journal of Economic Psychology.

Abstract: In the present paper, we investigate how people make decisions when bargaining about complementary resources. When the ownership of such resources is fragmented, actors often fail to coordinate on efficient access, leading to an overall loss in social welfare; the tragedy of the anticommons. In a series of three experiments, in which we introduce a newly developed Anticommons Bargaining Game, we show that people tend to treat perfectly complementary resources as if they are non-complementary. Specifically, we demonstrate that both sellers and buyers of such resources used a more-is-better heuristic when determining their prices. That is, sellers who initially owned a larger part of the resource asked a higher price for their resource than sellers with a smaller part, even though only the combination of parts generated value for the buyer. Likewise, buyers offered more money to sellers with a larger part than to sellers with a smaller part. While this heuristic does not necessarily impede coordination, inequality in resources led to unequal monetary outcomes between the two sellers.

Reference: de Kwaadsteniet, E. W., Gross, J., & van Dijk, E. (2023). A “More-is-Better” Heuristic in Anticommons Dilemmas: Psychological Insights from a New Anticommons Bargaining Game. Journal of Economic Psychology, 102653.

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