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Public Goods and Voting on Formal Sanction Schemes: An Experiment

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  • Louis Puttermann
  • Jean-Robert Tyran
  • Kenju Kamei

Abstract

The burgeoning literature on the use of sanctions to support public goods provision has largely neglected the use of formal or centralized sanctions. We let subjects playing a linear public goods game vote on the parameters of a formal sanction scheme capable both of resolving and of exacerbating the free-rider problem, depending on parameter settings. Most groups quickly learned to choose parameters inducing efficient outcomes. But despite uniform money payoffs implying common interest in those parameters, voting patterns suggest significant influence of cooperative orientation, political attitudes, and of gender and intelligence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2010-20.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_20

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Keywords: Public good; voluntary contribution; formal sanction; experiment; penalty; voting;

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References

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  1. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & Houser, Daniel & McCabe, Kevin, 2007. "Disposition, history and contributions in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 304-315, February.
  2. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2002. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Working Papers 2002-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  4. Kosfeld, Michael & Okada, Akira & Riedl, Arno, 2006. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," Discussion Papers 2006-02, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Jones, Garett, 2008. "Are smarter groups more cooperative? Evidence from prisoner's dilemma experiments, 1959-2003," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 489-497, December.
  6. Martijn Egas & Arno Riedl, 2005. "The Economics of Altruistic Punishment and the Demise of Cooperation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-065/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
  8. Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom, 2005. "Social norms and social choice," NIMA Working Papers 30, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  9. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
  10. Ones, Umut & Putterman, Louis, 2007. "The ecology of collective action: A public goods and sanctions experiment with controlled group formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 495-521, April.
  11. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2005. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-Deterrent," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  12. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2010. "Experimental Economics," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(3), pages 337-345.
  13. Arhan Ertan & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005. "Can Endogenously Chosen Institutions Mitigate the Free-Rider Problem and Reduce Perverse Punishment?," Working Papers 2005-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Robert Tyran & Thomas Markussen & Louis Putterman, 2011. "Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Formal, Informal, and No Sanction Regimes," Vienna Economics Papers 1103, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  2. Kenju Kamei & Louis Putterman & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2011. "State or Nature? Formal vs. Informal Sanctioning in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Discussion Papers 11-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Kamei, Kenju, 2012. "From locality to continent: A comment on the generalization of an experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 207-210.
  4. Julian Rauchdobler & Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2009. "Voting on Thresholds for Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers 09-27, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Cherry, Josh & Salant, Stephen & Uler, Neslihan, 2013. "Experimental Departures from Self-Interest when Competing Partnerships Share Output," Discussion Papers dp-13-07, Resources For the Future.
  6. Christoph Engel & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2010. "Turning the Lab into Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. The Effect of Punishment on Offenders and Non-Offenders," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  7. Jones, Garett, 2012. "Cognitive skill and technology diffusion: An empirical test," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 444-460.

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