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The Joint Benefits of Observed and Unobserved Punishment: Comment to Unobserved Punishment Supports Cooperation

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  • Andreas Glöckner

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Sebastian Kube

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Andreas Nicklisch

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

Laboratory experiments by Fudenberg and Pathak (2010), and Vyrastekova, Funaki and Takeuch (2008) show that punishment is able to sustain cooperation in groups even when it is observed only in the end of the interaction sequence. Our results demonstrate that the real power of unobserved punishment is unleashed when combined with observable punishment. Providing both unobserved and observed punishment strongly enhances cooperation within groups – strikingly, even with less intense sanctioning. This surprising result underlines the importance of the coexistence of observed and unobserved sanctioning mechanisms in social dilemmas.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2011_30.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_30

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Keywords: Public Goods; Unobserved Punishment; Sanctioning Effectiveness;

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Pathak, Parag A., 2010. "Unobserved punishment supports cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 78-86, February.
  2. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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