Strategic vs Non-Strategic Motivations of Sanctioning
AbstractWe isolate strategic and non-strategic motivations of sanctioning in a repeated public goods game. In two experimental treatments, subjects play the public goods game with the possibility to sanction others. In the STANDARD sanctions treatment, each subject learns about the sanctions received in the same round as they were assigned, but in the SECRET sanctions treatment, sanctions are announced only after the experiment is finished, removing in this way all strategic reasons to punish. We find that sanctioning is similar in both treatments, giving support for nonstrategic explanations of sanctions (altruistic punishment). Interestingly, contributions to the public good in both treatments with sanctioning are higher than when the public goods game is played without any sanctioning, irrespective of announcing the sanctions to their receivers during the play of the game, or only after the game is finished. The mere knowledge that sanctions might be assigned increases cooperation: subjects correctly expect that nonstrategic sanctioning takes place against freeriders.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2008-48.
Date of creation: 2008
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altruistic punishment; nonstrategic sanctions; strategic sanctions; public goods; economic experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2008-06-07 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2008-06-07 (Game Theory)
- NEP-PBE-2008-06-07 (Public Economics)
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- Fudenberg, Drew & Pathak, Parag A., 2010. "Unobserved punishment supports cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 78-86, February.
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