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Larger groups may alleviate collective action problems

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  • Sung-Ha Hwang

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul)

Abstract

This paper shows how larger group size can enhance punishing behavior in social dilemmas and hence support higher levels of cooperation. This occurs when agents can punish fellow group members who violate cooperative norms. Unlike existing approaches that focus on decentralized punishment, I view punishment to be a collective activity and show that pun- ishers can ?divide and conquer?defectors more e¢´ectively as the size of the group increases. To describe the punishment activities more precisely I develop a con?ict model which gener- alizes Lanchester?s equations - equations which describe the time evolution of the strengths of two competing armies.

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File URL: ftp://163.239.165.41/RePEc/sgo/wpaper/HSH_RIME_2011-13.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University in its series Working Papers with number 1113.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sgo:wpaper:1113

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Keywords: Collective action; group size; collective punishment; Lanchester?s equation;

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  1. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "Punishing Free Riders: how group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0206, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  3. M Haan & P Kooreman, 2002. "Free riding and the provision of candy bars," Natural Field Experiments 00264, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  5. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 2006. "A Simple Model of Collective Action," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 725-47, April.
  6. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
  7. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  8. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Newton, Jonathan, 2012. "Coalitional stochastic stability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 842-854.

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