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Feuds in the Laboratory? A Social Dilemma Experiment

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  • Nikos Nikiforakis
  • Dirk Engelmann

Abstract

Punishing free riders might promote cooperation, but it can also lead to feuds. We use a public good game with punishment opportunities to investigate whether the threat of feuds is e¢ ciency enhancing. Treatments di¤er with respect to whether a punish- ment can trigger a feud. In the main treatment (Feud) the number of punishment stages is endogenously determined and avoiding revenge is impossible. Participants are generally found to employ strategies that avoid the break out of feuds. While the possibility of a feud a¤ects punishment and contribution patterns, total earnings are not signi?cantly di¤erent from that in treatments where punishment opportunities do not exist or where punishment opportunities exist, but there is no possibility of escalation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1058.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1058

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Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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Related research

Keywords: feuds; public goods; punishment; revenge; experimental economics;

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References

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  1. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
  2. Noussair, C.N. & Tucker, S., 2005. "Combining monetary and social sanctions to promote cooperation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377935, Tilburg University.
  3. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  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. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  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. Laurent Denant-Boemont & David Masclet & Charles Noussair, 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 145-167, October.
  8. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  9. 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.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  11. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "A comparative statics analysis of punishment in public-good experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 358-369, December.
  12. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
  14. 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.
  15. Allen McDowell, 2003. "From the help desk: hurdle models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(2), pages 178-184, June.
  16. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  17. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
  18. Knez Marc J. & Camerer Colin F., 1995. "Outside Options and Social Comparison in Three-Player Ultimatum Game Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 65-94, July.
  19. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wolff, Irenaeus, 2009. "Counterpunishment revisited: an evolutionary approach," MPRA Paper 16923, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Andreas Nicklisch & Irenaeus Wolff, 2010. "Cooperation norms in multiple-stage punishment," TWI Research Paper Series 54, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  3. Peter Duersch & Maroš Servátka, 2009. "Punishment with Uncertain Outcomes in the Prisoner’s Dilemma," Working Papers 0485, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  4. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2008. "Feedback; Punishment and Cooperation in Public Good Experiments," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1036, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Engelmann, Dirk, 2011. "Altruistic punishment and the threat of feuds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 319-332, May.

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