This paper experimentally studies individuals’ voluntary disclosure of past behaviors and its effects in a finitely repeated two-player public goods game. The experiment data found that voluntary information disclosure strengthens cooperation under certain conditions, although a non-negligible fraction of individuals do not disclose information about the past and proceed to behave opportunistically. On closer inspection, the data revealed that the material incentives of disclosure acts differ according to the matching protocol. Specifically, disclosers receive higher payoffs than non-disclosers if the disclosers are assured to be matched with like-minded disclosers; conversely, disclosers are vulnerable to exploitation by others under random matching. These results suggest that mandatory disclosure helps enhance economic efficiency if individuals’ hiding and uncooperative behaviors are liable to precipitate a collapse in the community norms.
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