143 – The Impact of Redistribution Mechanisms in the Vote with the Wallet Game: Experimental Results


We use the Vote-with-the-Wallet game (VWG) to model socially or environmentally responsible consumption, an increasingly relevant but still under-researched phenomenon.

Based on a theoretical model outlining game equilibria and the parametric interval of the related multiplayer prisoners’ dilemma (PD) we evaluate with a controlled lab experiment players’ behavior in the game and test the effects of an ex post redistribution mechanism between defectors and cooperators.

Our findings document that the redistribution mechanism interrupts cooperation decay and stabilizes the share of cooperators at a level significantly higher, even though inferior to the Nash equilibrium.

Keywords: vote with the wallet, prisoner’s dilemma, lab experiment

JEL Numbers: C72 (Noncooperative games), C73 (Repeated games), C91 (Laboratory, Individual behavior), M14 (Corporate culture, Social responsibility).