Kitakaji, Y., Onuma, S. (2016). Even Unreliable Information Disclosure Makes People Cooperate in a Social Dilemma: Development of the “Industrial Waste Illegal Dumping Game”. In Kaneda, T., Kanegae, H., Toyoda, Y., & Rizzi, P., Simulation and Gaming in the Network Society, Springer, pp. 369-385.


This study explores whether information disclosure can cause cooperation in a social dilemma, even when people can disseminate false information. In the past, illegal dumping increased in Japan despite the strengthening of penalties and surveillance laws, due to practical limitations in monitoring and surveillance. To resolve this, the tracking sheet used to trace the trading and processing of the waste must be traceable, in order to detect illegal dumping. This means that manifests must be written precisely in order to be effective, but if maintaining a tracking log has some function other than surveillance, this may not be the case. To examine this issue, we used the “Industrial Waste Illegal Dumping game” (Ohnuma S, Kitakaji Y. Simure-syon ando geimingu (Stud Simul Gaming) 17(1):5–16, 2007) which simulates the disposal of industrial waste and is structured as a social dilemma with asymmetry of information. In this study we utilized two conditions: a disclosure and a control (need not disclose) condition. Under the disclosure condition, players had to enter the amount of commission or disposal in the landfill but did not have to fill in the correct amount. Although other players could read the report, they did not know who performed illegal dumping or how much they contributed. Therefore, this disclosure did not have an effective surveillance function and could not help detect noncooperation. However, the results showed that the amount of illegal dumping was reduced, and information about payoffs was actually shared more in the disclosure condition than in the control condition. Moreover, players collected and shared their information more in the disclosure condition than in the control condition. The study thus indicates that the function of disclosure is not surveillance, but information sharing which is essential for voluntary cooperation.

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