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Altruistic punishment and the threat of feuds

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  • Nikiforakis, Nikos
  • Engelmann, Dirk

Abstract

Altruistic punishment may promote cooperation, but can also lead to costly feuds. We examine how the threat of feuds affects individuals' willingness to engage in altruistic punishment in a public good experiment in which the number of stages is determined by participants' actions. The design imposes minimal restrictions on who can punish whom and when, and therefore allows participants to use a range of punishment strategies. We find that participants recognize the threat of feuds and respond to it by employing strategies that prevent their breakout. When feuds can span several periods, the extent of altruistic punishment is greatly reduced. This leads to progressively lower levels of cooperation and earnings relative to a baseline treatment where punishment cannot be avenged.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 78 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 319-332

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:78:y:2011:i:3:p:319-332

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Keywords: Feuds Altruistic punishment Counter-punishment Public good game Revenge;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sung-Ha Hwang & Samuel Bowles, 2011. "Is Altruism Bad for Cooperation?," Working Papers 1114, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
  2. Daniela Grieco & Marco Faillo & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Top Contributors as Punishers," Working Papers 24/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  3. Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011. "Norm Enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1133, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Kenju Kamei & Louis Putterman, 2012. "In Broad Daylight: Full Information and Higher-order Punishment Opportunities Promote Cooperation," Working Papers 2012-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Noussair, Charles N. & Wilkening, Tom, 2012. "Normative conflict and feuds: The limits of self-enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 797-807.
  6. Andreoni, James & Gee, Laura K., 2012. "Gun for hire: Delegated enforcement and peer punishment in public goods provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1036-1046.
  7. Fangfang Tan & Erte Xiao, 2014. "Third-Party Punishment: Retribution or Deterrence?," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-05, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  8. Engelmann, Dirk & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012. "In the long-run we are all dead: On the benefits of peer punishment in rich environments," Working Papers 32651, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  9. Stoop, Jan & van Soest, Daan & Vyrastekova, Jana, 2011. "Carrots without Bite: On the Ineffectiveness of 'Rewards' in sustaining Cooperation in Social Dilemmas," MPRA Paper 30538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Jean-Philippe Atzenhoffer, 2012. "Could free-riders promote cooperation in the commons?," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 14(1), pages 85-101, January.
  11. Faillo, Marco & Grieco, Daniela & Zarri, Luca, 2013. "Legitimate punishment, feedback, and the enforcement of cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 271-283.
  12. Katarína Danková & Maroš Servátka, 2014. "The House Money Effect and Negative Reciprocity," Working Papers in Economics 14/06, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  13. Andreas Leibbrandt & Abhijit Ramalingam & Lauri Saaksvuori & James M. Walker, 2013. "Incomplete Punishment Networks in Public Goods Games: Experimental Evidence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 13-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  14. Hoyer, Maximilian & Bault, Nadège & Loerakker, Ben & van Winden, Frans, 2014. "Destructive behavior in a Fragile Public Good game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 295-299.
  15. Erte Xiao & Howard Kunreuther, 2012. "Punishment and Cooperation in Stochastic Social Dilemmas," NBER Working Papers 18458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Boyu Zhang & Cong Li & Hannelore Silva & Peter Bednarik & Karl Sigmund, 2014. "The evolution of sanctioning institutions: an experimental approach to the social contract," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 285-303, June.
  17. Tore Ellingsen & Benedikt Herrmann & Martin A. Nowak & David G. Rand & Corina E. Tarnita, 2012. "Civic Capital in Two Cultures: The Nature of Cooperation in Romania and USA," CESifo Working Paper Series 4042, CESifo Group Munich.

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