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The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation

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Author Info

  • James Andreoni

    ()
    (University of Wisconsin Economics Department)

  • William T. harbaugh

    ()
    (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Lise Vesterlund

    ()
    (University of Pittsburgh Economics Department)

Abstract

We examine rewards and punishments in a simple proposer-responder game. The proposer first makes an offer to split a fixed-sized pie. According to the 2×2 design, the responder is or is not given a costly option of increasing or decreasing the proposer's payoff. We find substantial demands for both punishments and rewards. While rewards alone have little influence on cooperation, punishments have some. When the two are combined the effect on cooperation is dramatic, suggesting that rewards and punishments are complements in producing cooperation. Providing new insights to what motivates these demands is the surprising finding that the demands for rewards depend on the availability of punishments.

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File URL: http://economics.uoregon.edu/papers/UO-2002-1_Harbaugh_Carrot_Stick.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2002-01.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: 20 Aug 2002
Date of revision: 20 Aug 2002
Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2002-01

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Keywords: Fairness: Public Goods; Experimental Economics;

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References

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
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  7. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  8. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "What Do Bargainers' Preferences Look Like? Experiments with a Convex Ultimatum Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 672-685, June.
  9. McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
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  12. Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 1997. "The Moonlighting Game - An Experimental Study on Reciprocity and Retribution," Discussion Paper Serie B 415, University of Bonn, Germany.
  13. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  14. Gary Charness & Ernan Haruvy, 1999. "Altruism, equity and reciprocity in a gift-exchange experiment: An encompassing approach," Economics Working Papers 368, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  15. Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995. "Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
  16. Andreoni, James & Brown, Paul M. & Vesterlund, Lise, 2002. "What Makes an Allocation Fair? Some Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, July.
  17. Charness, Gary & Haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2007. "Social distance and reciprocity: An Internet experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 88-103, May.
  18. Offerman, Theo, 2002. "Hurting hurts more than helping helps," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1423-1437, September.
  19. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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