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The decentralization of punishments in experiments with public goods

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  • Zuzana Berná

    ()

  • Jiøí Špalek

    ()
    (Department of Public Economics, Masaryk University)

Abstract

This paper deals with the effects of introducing adequate punishment opportunities in experiments with public goods. Decentralized punishment means that the contributing subjects have a possibility to sanction free riders without the intervention of an external authority. The very first experiments demonstrated a significantly positive effect of a punishment opportunity on enhancing cooperation in situations of social dilemma. Following studies, however, pointed at limited effectiveness of this mechanism. The first part of the paper summarizes selected literature on the topic and presents its principal findings. The second part is dedicated to the presentation of the results of an experimental series on decentralized punishment realized in the Czech Republic. The last part introduces possible questions and topics which may be subject of future research within this area.

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File URL: http://repec.econ.muni.cz/mub/wpaper/working%20papers/WP_BernaSpalek_final.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Masaryk University, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Department of Public Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:mub:wpaper:05

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Keywords: economic experiment; cooperation; public goods; decentralized punishment; partner and stranger matching;

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References

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. 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.
  3. Balafoutas, Loukas & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012. "Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1773-1785.
  4. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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