We experimentally investigate whether the procedural history of a sanctioning institution a ects cooperation in a social dilemma. Subjects inherit the institutional setting from a previous generation of subjects who either decided on the implementation of the institution democratically by majority vote or were exogenously assigned a setting. In order to isolate the impact of the voting procedure, no information about the cooperation history is provided. In line with existing empirical evidence, we observe that in the starting generation cooperation is higher (lower) with a democratically chosen (rejected) institution, as compared to the corresponding, randomly imposed setting. In the second generation, the procedural history only partly a ects cooperation. While there is no positive democracy e ect when the institution is implemented, the vote-based rejection of the institution negatively a ects cooperation in the second generation. The e ect size is similar to that in the rst generation.
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