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Punish in public

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  • Xiao, Erte
  • Houser, Daniel

Abstract

We report data from public goods games showing that privately-implemented punishment reduces cooperation in relation to a baseline treatment without punishment. When that same incentive is implemented publicly, however, cooperation is sustained at significantly higher rates than in either the baseline or private punishment treatments. Our design ensures that this increased cooperation is not attributable to shame, differences in information or signaling. Rather, our evidence is that the ability to observe the punishment of low-contributors can reverse punishment's detrimental effects. This result has important efficiency implications for the design of mechanisms intended to deter misconduct.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 1006-1017

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:1006-1017

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Punishment Cooperation Norms Public goods game Experiments;

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References

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  18. Jian Li & Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser & P. Read Montague, 2009. "Neural Responses to Sanction Threats in Two-Party Economic Exchange," Working Papers 1012, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
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  21. Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Profit-seeking punishment corrupts norm obedience," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 321-344.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kimbrough Erik O. & Vostroknutov Alexander, 2012. "Rules, Rule-Following and Cooperation," Research Memorandum 054, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  2. Timothy C. Salmon & Danila Serra, 2013. "Does Social Judgment Diminish Rule Breaking?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2012. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 368-425, June.
  4. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  5. Marco Faillo & Daniela Grieco & Luca Zarri, 2010. "Legitimate Punishment, Feedback, and the Enforcement of Cooperation," Working Papers 16/2010, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  6. Xiao, Erte & Tan, Fangfang, 2013. "Justification and Legitimate Punishment," MPRA Paper 47154, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Erte Xiao & Howard Kunreuther, 2012. "Punishment and Cooperation in Stochastic Social Dilemmas," NBER Working Papers 18458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David L. Dickinson & E. Glenn Dutcher & Cortney S. Rodet, 2013. "Observed Punishment Spillover Effects: A Laboratory Investigation of Behavior in a Social Dilemma," Working Papers 13-20, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  9. Daniel Houser & Natalia Montinari & Marco Piovesan, 2012. "Private and Public Decisions in Social Dilemmas: Evidence from ChildrenÕs Behavior," Working Papers 1034, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  10. Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Profit-seeking punishment corrupts norm obedience," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 321-344.
  11. Rupert Sausgruber, 2009. "A note on peer effects between teams," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 193-201, June.
  12. Qin, Xiangdong & Wang, Siyu, 2013. "Using an exogenous mechanism to examine efficient probabilistic punishment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-10.
  13. David L. Dickinson & E. Glenn Dutcher & Cortney S. Rodet, 2011. "Punishment History and Spillover Effects: A Laboratory Investigation of Behavior in a Social Dilemma," Working Papers 11-02, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  14. Daniel Houser & Erte Xiao, 2009. "Inequality-Seeking Punishment," Working Papers 1009, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  15. Daniela Grieco & Marco Faillo & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Top Contributors as Punishers," Working Papers 24/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

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