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Public Goods and Voting on Formal Sanction Schemes: An Experiment

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Abstract

The burgeoning literature on the use of sanctions to support public goods provision has largely neglected the use of formal or centralized sanctions. We let subjects playing a linear public goods game vote on the parameters of a formal sanction scheme capable both of resolving and of exacerbating the free-rider problem, depending on parameter settings. Most groups quickly learned to choose parameters inducing efficient outcomes. But despite uniform money payoffs implying common interest in those parameters, voting patterns suggest significant influence of cooperative orientation, political attitudes, and of gender and intelligence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-1.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2010-1

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Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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Keywords: Public good; voluntary contribution; formal sanction; experiment; penalty;

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References

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  1. Umut Ones & Louis Putterman, 2004. "The Ecology of Collective Action: A Public Goods and Sanctions Experiment with Controlled Group Formation," Working Papers 2004-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom, 2005. "Social norms and social choice," NIMA Working Papers 30, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  3. Egas, Martijn & Riedl, Arno, 2005. "The Economics of Altruistic Punishment and the Demise of Cooperation," IZA Discussion Papers 1646, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Michael Kosfeld & Akira Okada & Arno Riedl, 2006. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," IEW - Working Papers 299, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2005. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-Deterrent," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  6. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
  7. Olivier Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2005-09, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
  9. Anna Gunnthorsdottir & Daniel Houser & Kevin McCabe & Holly Ameden, 2004. "Disposition, History and Contributions in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental 0401001, EconWPA.
  10. Arhan Ertan & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005. "Can Endogenously Chosen Institutions Mitigate the Free-Rider Problem and Reduce Perverse Punishment?," Working Papers 2005-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2010. "Experimental Economics," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(3), pages 337-345.
  12. Jones, Garett, 2008. "Are smarter groups more cooperative? Evidence from prisoner's dilemma experiments, 1959-2003," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 489-497, December.
  13. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2002. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Working Papers 2002-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jones, Garett, 2012. "Cognitive skill and technology diffusion: An empirical test," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 444-460.
  2. Thomas Markussen & Louis Putterman & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2011. "Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Formal, Informal, and No Sanction Regimes," Discussion Papers 11-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Julian Rauchdobler & Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2009. "Voting on Thresholds for Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2896, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Kenju Kamei & Louis Putterman & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2011. "State or Nature? Formal vs. Informal Sanctioning in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers 2011-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Kamei, Kenju, 2012. "From locality to continent: A comment on the generalization of an experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 207-210.
  6. Christoph Engel & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2010. "Turning the Lab into Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. The Effect of Punishment on Offenders and Non-Offenders," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  7. Cherry, Josh & Salant, Stephen & Uler, Neslihan, 2013. "Experimental Departures from Self-Interest when Competing Partnerships Share Output," Discussion Papers dp-13-07, Resources For the Future.

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