Threat and Punishment in Public Good Experiments
AbstractExperimental studies of social dilemmas have shown that while the existence of a sanctioning institution improves cooperation within groups, it also has a detrimental impact on group earnings in the short-run. Could the introduction of pre-play threats to punish have enough of a beneficial impact on cooperation, while not incurring the cost associated with actual punishment, so that they increase overall welfare ? We report an experiment in which players can issue non-binding threats to punish others based on their contribution levels to a public good. After observing others’ actual contributions, they choose their actual punishment level. We find that threats increase the level of contributions significantly. Efficiency is improved, but only in the long run. However, the possibility of sanctioning differences between threatened and actual punishment leads to lower threats, cooperation and welfare, restoring them to levels equal to or below the levels attained in the absence of threats.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1019.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
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Threats; cheap talk; sanctions; public good; experiment;
Other versions of this item:
- Masclet, David & Noussair, Charles N. & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2010. "Threat and Punishment in Public Good Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 5206, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Marie Claire Villeval, 2010. "Threat and Punishment in Public Good Experiments," Post-Print halshs-00522655, HAL.
- David Masclet & Charles N. Noussair & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2011. "Threat and Punishment in Public Good Experiments," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-08, CIRANO.
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Denant-Boemont, L. & Masclet, D. & Noussair, C.N., 2007.
"Punishment, counterpunishment, and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-284310, Tilburg University.
- Laurent Denant-Boemont & David Masclet & Charles Noussair, 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 145-167, October.
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- Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis & Garcia, Bruno, 2013. "Voluntary contributions with redistribution: The effect of costly sanctions when one person's punishment is another's reward," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 34-48.
- Jean-Philippe Atzenhoffer, 2012. "Could free-riders promote cooperation in the commons?," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 14(1), pages 85-101, January.
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