Reciprocity: weak or strong? What punishment experiments do (and do not) demonstrate
AbstractStrong Reciprocity theorists claim that cooperation in social dilemma games can be sustained by costly punishment mechanisms that eliminate incentives to free ride, even in one-shot and finitely repeated games. There is little doubt that costly punishment raises cooperation in laboratory conditions. Its efficacy in the field however is controversial. I distinguish two interpretations of experimental results, and show that the wide interpretation endorsed by Strong Reciprocity theorists is unsupported by ethnographic evidence on decentralised punishment and by historical evidence on common pool institutions. The institutions that spontaneously evolve to solve dilemmas of cooperation typically exploit low-cost mechanisms, turning finite games into indefinitely repeated ones and eliminating the cost of sanctioning.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2010-23.
Date of creation: 14 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Experiments; Cooperation; Punishment; Evolution;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Faillo, Marco & Grieco, Daniela & Zarri, Luca, 2012.
"Cultural Diversity, Cooperation,and Anti-social Punishment,"
AICCON Working Papers, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit
102-2012, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
- Marco Faillo & Daniela Grieco & Luca Zarri, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Cooperation, and Antisocial Punishment," Working Papers 09/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
- Engelmann, Dirk & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2013.
"In the long-run we are all dead: On the benefits of peer punishment in rich environments,"
Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order
79743, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Engelmann, Dirk & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012. "In the long-run we are all dead: On the benefits of peer punishment in rich environments," Working Papers 32651, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
- Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2012.
"Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment,"
2012-12, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
- Balafoutas, Loukas & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012. "Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1773-1785.
- Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011. "Norm Enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, The University of Melbourne 1133, The University of Melbourne.
- Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2012. "1 Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00385, The Field Experiments Website.
- Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (DEMM Working Papers).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.