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The limits of self-governance in the presence of spite: Experimental evidence from urban and rural Russia

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  • Simon Gaechter

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Benedikt Herrmann

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We report evidence from public goods experiments with and without punishment which we conducted in Russia with 566 urban and rural participants of young and mature age cohorts. Russia is interesting for studying voluntary cooperation because of its long history of collectivism, and a huge urban-rural gap. In contrast to previous experiments we find no cooperation-enhancing effect of punishment. An important reason is that there is substantial spiteful punishment of high contributors in all four subject pools. Thus, spite undermines the scope for self-governance in the sense of high levels of voluntary cooperation that are sustained by sanctioning free riders only.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2006-13.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2006-13

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Keywords: social norms; free riding; punishment; spite; experiments;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Juan Camilo C�rdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, 09.
  2. Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Visser, Martine, 2008. "Does stake size matter for cooperation and punishment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 508-511, June.
  3. Visser, Martine & Burns, Justine, 2006. "Bridging the Great Divide in South Africa: Inequality and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers in Economics 219, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. Casari, Marco & Luini, Luigi, 2009. "Cooperation under alternative punishment institutions: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 273-282, August.
  5. Visser, Martine & Burns, Justine, 2013. "Inequality, Social Sanctions and Cooperation within South African Fishing," SALDRU Working Papers 117, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews, 2007. "What Norms Trigger Punishment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0708, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  7. Reuben, Ernesto & Riedl, Arno, 2007. "Public Goods Provision and Sanctioning in Priveleged Groups," Research Memorandum 028, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  8. Vollan, Bjorn & Prediger, Sebastian & Frolich, Markus, 2010. "The influence of collective property rights on grazing management in a semi-arid region," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 5(2), December.
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  11. Asher, Sam & Casaburi, Lorenzo & Nikolov, Plamen & Ye, Maoliang, 2009. "One Step at a Time: Do Threshold Patterns Matter in Public Good Provision?," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-5, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
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