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Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment

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  • Laurent Denant-Boemont
  • David Masclet
  • Charles Noussair

    ()

Abstract

We present the results of an experiment that explores the sanctioning behavior of individuals who experience a social dilemma. In the game we study, players choose contribution levels to a public good and subsequently have multiple opportunities to reduce the earnings of the other members of the group. The treatments vary in terms of individuals' opportunities to (a) avenge sanctions that have been directed toward themselves, and (b) punish others' sanctioning behavior with respect to third parties. We find that the individuals avenge sanctions they have received, punish those who fail to sanction third parties, and punish low contributors, even when punishment is costly to the sanctioner. When there are five rounds of unrestricted sanctioning, contributions and welfare are significantly lower than when only one round of sanctioning opportunities exists, and welfare is lower than the zero-cooperation benchmark.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-007-0212-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 33 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 145-167

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:33:y:2007:i:1:p:145-167

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Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00199/index.htm

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Related research

Keywords: Public goods; Sanction enforcement; Counter punishment Information; C92; D70; H41;

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  1. Isaac, R. Mark & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., . "Public Goods Provision in an Experimental Environment," Working Papers 428, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2006. "Can second-order punishment deter perverse punishment?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 265-279, September.
  3. Marco Casari, 2004. "On the Design of Peer Punishment Experiments," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 615.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  5. Masclet, D. & Noussair, C. & Tucker, S. & Villeval, M.C., 2001. "Monetary and Non-monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1141, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  6. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  9. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "Punishing Free-Riders: How Group Size Affects Mutual Monitoring and the Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 1337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  11. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
  12. Louis Putterman & Christopher M. Anderson, 2003. "Do Non-strategic Sanctions Obey the Law of Demand? The Demand for Punishment in the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Working Papers 2003-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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