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Why Punish: Social Reciprocity and the Enforcement of Prosocial Norms

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  • Peter Matthews

    ()

  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    ()

Abstract

Recently economists have become interested in why people who face social dilemmas in the experimental lab use the seemingly incredible threat of punishment to deter free riding. Three theories have evolved to explain punishment. We survey each theory and se behavioral data from surveys and experiments to show that the theory called social reciprocity in which people punish norm violators indiscriminately explains punishment best. We also show that social reciprocity can evolve in a population of free riders and contributors if the initial conditions are favorable.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0213.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0213.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0213

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Related research

Keywords: social dilemma; public good; punishment; reciprocity; norm; evolutionary game theory; experiment;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews, 2002. "Social Reciprocity," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0229, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Martin Sefton & Robert S. Shupp & James Walker, 2005. "The Effect of Rewards and Sanctions in Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers 200504, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2005.
  5. Guth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Papers 9339, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  6. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "Punishing Free-Riders: How Group Size Affects Mutual Monitoring and the Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 1337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Anderson, Christopher M. & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Do non-strategic sanctions obey the law of demand? The demand for punishment in the voluntary contribution mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-24, January.
  8. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  9. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "Mutual Monitoring in Teams: The Effects of Residual Claimancy and Reciprocity," Research in Economics 98-08-074e, Santa Fe Institute.
  10. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  11. repec:att:wimass:9323 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Sethi, Rajiv, 1996. "Evolutionary stability and social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 113-140, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Geoffrey Hodgson, 2014. "The evolution of morality and the end of economic man," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 83-106, January.
  2. Nese, Annamaria & Sbriglia, Patrizia, 2009. "Social norms in repeated public good games," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 266-281, December.
  3. Christoph Engel, 2013. "Deterrence by Imperfect Sanctions – A Public Good Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_09, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2005. "Norm Enforcement: Anger, Indignation or Reciprocity?," IZA Discussion Papers 1583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "The Demand for Punishment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0243, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  6. David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Punishment, inequality, and welfare : a public good experiment," Post-Print halshs-00196567, HAL.
  7. Reuben E., 2002. "Interest groups and politics: The need to concentrate on group formation," Public Economics 0212001, EconWPA.
  8. Croson, Rachel & Konow, James, 2009. "Social preferences and moral biases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 201-212, March.
  9. Annamaria Nese & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2009. "Individuals' Voting Choice and Cooperation in Repeated Social Dilemma Games," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 025, University of Siena.
  10. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2013. "Words Substitute Fists – Justifying Punishment in a Public Good Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jan 2014.
  11. Simon Cornée & David Masclet, 2013. "Long-Term Relationships, Group lending and Peer Sanctioning in Microfinance: New Experimental Evidence," Working Papers CEB 13-026, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Meijerink, Gerdien W., 2007. "If services aren't delivered, people won't pay: the role of measurement problems and monitoring in Payments for Environmental Services," 106th Seminar, October 25-27, 2007, Montpellier, France 7948, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  13. Patel, Amrish & Cartwright, Edward & Mark, Van Vugt, 2010. "Punishment Cannot Sustain Cooperation in a Public Good Game with Free-Rider Anonymity," Working Papers in Economics 451, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Visser, Martine, 2006. "Welfare Implications of Peer Punishment in Unequal Societies," Working Papers in Economics 218, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  15. Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2014. "Strategic Trustworthiness via Unstrategic Third-party Reward – An Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  16. Robert Prasch, 2003. "How is Labor Distinct From Broccoli? Some Unique Characteristics of Labor and Their Importance for Economic Analysis and Policy," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 03-30, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  17. Angelo Antoci & Luca Zarri, 2011. "Punish and Perish?," Working Papers 2011.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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