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The Limits of Self-Governance in the Presence of Spite: Experimental Evidence from Urban and Rural Russia

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  • Gächter, Simon

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Herrmann, Benedikt

    ()
    (European Commission)

Abstract

We report evidence from public goods experiments with and without punishment which we conducted in Russia with 566 urban and rural participants of young and mature age cohorts. Russia is interesting for studying voluntary cooperation because of its long history of collectivism, and a huge urban-rural gap. In contrast to previous experiments we find no cooperation-enhancing effect of punishment. An important reason is that there is substantial spiteful punishment of high contributors in all four subject pools. Thus, spite undermines the scope for self-governance in the sense of high levels of voluntary cooperation that are sustained by sanctioning free riders only.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2236.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2236

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Keywords: spite; punishment; free riding; social norms; experiments;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Falk, Armin & Zehnder, Christian, 2007. "Discrimination and In-Group Favoritism in a Citywide Trust Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Prevalence, Behavior and Success," IZA Discussion Papers 2205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ernesto Reuben & Arno Riedl, 2007. "Public Goods Provision and Sanctioning in Privileged Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 2063, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. repec:dgr:umamet:2007028 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Juan Camilo C�rdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, 09.
  6. Vollan, Bjorn & Prediger, Sebastian & Frolich, Markus, 2010. "The influence of collective property rights on grazing management in a semi-arid region," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 5(2), December.
  7. Ye, Maoliang & Nikolov, Plamen & Casaburi, Lorenzo & Asher, Sam, 2008. "Do threshold patterns matter in public good provision?," MPRA Paper 12029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews, 2009. "What norms trigger punishment?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 272-288, September.
  9. Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Martine Visser, 2006. "Does Stake Size matter for Cooperation and Punishment?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-104/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Visser, Martine & Burns, Justine, 2006. "Bridging the Great Divide in South Africa: Inequality and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers in Economics 219, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. Casari, Marco & Luini, Luigi, 2009. "Cooperation under alternative punishment institutions: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 273-282, August.
  12. Asher, Sam & Casaburi, Lorenzo & Nikolov, Plamen & Ye, Maoliang, 2009. "One Step at a Time: Do Threshold Patterns Matter in Public Good Provision?," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-5, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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