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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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  12. 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.
  13. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2004. "Social learning and voluntary cooperation among like-minded people," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-12, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Nicklisch & Irenaeus Wolff, 2010. "Cooperation norms in multiple-stage punishment," TWI Research Paper Series 54, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  2. 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.
  3. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2008. "Feedback; Punishment and Cooperation in Public Good Experiments," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1036, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Peter Duersch & Maroš Servátka, 2009. "Punishment with Uncertain Outcomes in the Prisoner’s Dilemma," Working Papers in Economics 09/12, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  5. Wolff, Irenaeus, 2009. "Counterpunishment revisited: an evolutionary approach," MPRA Paper 16923, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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