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Legitimate punishment, feedback, and the enforcement of cooperation

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  • Faillo, Marco
  • Grieco, Daniela
  • Zarri, Luca

Abstract

In dealing with peer punishment as a cooperation enforcement device, laboratory studies have typically concentrated on discretionary sanctioning, allowing players to castigate each other arbitrarily. By contrast, in real life punishments are often meted out only insofar as punishers are entitled to punish and punishees deserve to be punished. We provide an experimental test for this ‘legitimate punishment’ institution and show that it yields substantial benefits to cooperation and efficiency gains, compared to a classic, ‘vigilante justice’ institution. We also focus on the role of feedback and we interestingly find that removing the information over high contributorsʼ choices is sufficient to generate a dramatic decline in cooperation rates and earnings. This interaction result implies that providing feedback over virtuous behavior in the group is necessary to make a legitimate punishment scheme effective.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 77 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 271-283

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:77:y:2013:i:1:p:271-283

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Keywords: Public goods games; Cooperation; Legitimate punishment; Feedback; Behavioral mechanism design;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marco Faillo & Daniela Grieco & Luca Zarri, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Cooperation, and Antisocial Punishment," Working Papers 09/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  2. Daniela Grieco & Marco Faillo & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Top Contributors as Punishers," Working Papers 24/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  3. Erte Xiao & Howard Kunreuther, 2012. "Punishment and Cooperation in Stochastic Social Dilemmas," NBER Working Papers 18458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. M. D. Farjam & M. Faillo & W.F.G. Haselager & I.G. Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper, 2013. "Punishment Mechanisms and their Effect on Cooperation - A Simulation Study," CEEL Working Papers 1302, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

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