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Punishment, Counterpunishment and Sanction Enforcement in a Social Dilemma Experiment

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  • David Masclet

    ()
    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes I - Université de Caen)

  • Laurent Denant-Boèmont

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes I - Université de Caen)

  • Charles Noussair

    (EMORY UNIVERSITY - Emory University - Emory University)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00009664.

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Date of creation: 17 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00009664

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Keywords: Public Good; Punishment; Revenge; counterpunishement;

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  1. Noussair, C.N. & Tucker, S., 2005. "Combining monetary and social sanctions to promote cooperation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377935, Tilburg University.
  2. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2006. "Can second-order punishment deter perverse punishment?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 265-279, September.
  4. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Noussair, C.N. & Masclet, D. & Tucker, S. & Villeval, M..C, 2003. "Monetary and non-monetary punishment in the voluntary contributions mechanism," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377951, Tilburg University.
  6. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
  10. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
  12. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
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