Social learning increases the acceptance and the efficiency of punishment institutions in social dilemmas
AbstractEndogenously chosen punishment institutions perform well in increasing contributions and long-term payoffs in social dilemma situations. However, they suffer from (a) initial reluctance of subjects to join the punishment institution and (b) initial efficiency losses due to frequent punishment. Here, we investigate the effects of social learning on the acceptence and the efficiency of a peer punishment institution in a community choice experiment. Subjects choose between communities with and without the possibility to punish peers before interacting in a repeated social dilemma situation. We find that providing participants with a social history - presenting the main results of an identical previous experiment conducted with dierent subjects - decreases the initial reluctance towards the punishment institution signicantly. Moreover, with social history, cooperative groups reach the social optimum more rapidly and there is lower efficiency loss due to reduced punishment. Our findings shed light on the importance of social learning for the acceptance of seemingly unpopular but socially desirable mechanisms.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27357.
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Social dilemmas; Social history; Social learning; Community choice; Punishment; Institution choice;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2010-12-18 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-12-18 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2010-12-18 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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