Orchestrating A Cooperative Economy Platform as a Solution to Economic Inequality



In addressing societal grand challenges such as economic inequality, public policies fall short while firms struggle to steer corporate missions away from shareholder interests. This study reports a randomized controlled repeated-measures field experiment in which an innovative solution was tested that leverages new design principles that reinforce prosocial behaviour in economic exchange. The findings reveal that the subsidization mechanism of the proposed digital platform contributes to economic equality and increases the purchasing power of low-earners without reducing participants’ engagement or inflating consumption. Moreover, opportunistic behaviour is restrained, with high-earners creating sufficient value to subsize low-earners, above and beyond personal and community donations. This study offers evidence that the proposed solution enhances the prosocial behaviour and satisfaction of participants compared to the prevalent economic model, demonstrating the merits of private initiatives that leverage innovative solutions to societal challenges.