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In Broad Daylight: Full Information and Higher-order Punishment Opportunities Promote Cooperation

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Abstract

The expectation that non-cooperators will be punished can help to sustain cooperation, but there are competing claims about whether opportunities to engage in higher-order punishment (punishing punishment or failure to punish) help or undermine cooperation in social dilemmas. In a set of experimental treatments, we find that availability of higher-order punishment increases cooperation and efficiency when subjects have full information on the pattern of punishing, including its past history, and opportunities to punish are unrestricted. Availability of higher-order punishment reduces cooperation and efficiency if it is restricted to counter-punishing alone, if past history is unavailable, and if there is a dedicated counter-punishment stage.

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File URL: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Economics/Papers/2012/2012-3_paper.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-3.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2012-3

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

Related research

Keywords: collective action; social dilemma; voluntary contribution; public goods; punishment; counter-punishment; higher-order punishment.;

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  14. Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
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  16. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
  17. Nikos Nikiforakis & Charles N. Noussair & Tom Wilkening, 2011. "Normative Conflict & Feuds: The Limits of Self-Enforcement," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1120, The University of Melbourne.
  18. Christoph Engel & Sebastian Kube & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experimental study on “Broken (and Fixed) Windows”," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
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