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Why Punish: Social Reciprocity and the Enforcement of Prosocial Norms

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  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    ()

  • Peter Matthews

    ()

  • Okomboli Ong'ong'a

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 with evolvutionary microfoundations have been developed to explain punishment. We survey these theories and use behavioral data from surveys and experiments to show that the theory called social reciprocity in which people punish norm violators indiscriminately explains punishment best.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0213R.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 0213r.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0213r

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Keywords: social dilemma; punishment; norm; evolutionary game theory; experiment;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews, 2004. "Social Reciprocity," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0229r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  3. 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).
  4. Martin Sefton & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2006. "The Effect of Rewards and Sanctions in Provision of Public Goods," Caepr Working Papers 2006-005, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington, revised Aug 2006.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. repec:att:wimass:9323 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Gueth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Discussion Paper 1993-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Sethi, Rajiv, 1996. "Evolutionary stability and social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 113-140, January.
  12. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Reuben E., 2002. "Interest groups and politics: The need to concentrate on group formation," Public Economics 0212001, EconWPA.
  2. Angelo Antoci & Luca Zarri, 2011. "Punish and Perish?," Working Papers 2011.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
  4. Nese, Annamaria & Sbriglia, Patrizia, 2009. "Social norms in repeated public good games," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 266-281, December.
  5. Croson, Rachel & Konow, James, 2009. "Social preferences and moral biases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 201-212, March.
  6. 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.
  7. David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Punishment, inequality, and welfare: a public good experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 475-502, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews, 2005. "Norm Enforcement: Anger, Indignation or Reciprocity?," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0503, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  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. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Visser, Martine, 2006. "Welfare Implications of Peer Punishment in Unequal Societies," Working Papers in Economics 218, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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