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Immaterial Rewards And Sanctions In A Voluntary Contribution Experiment

Listed author(s):
  • RONALD PEETERS
  • MARC VORSATZ

In this paper, we compare the cause and effect of immaterial rewards and sanctions oncooperation in a voluntary contributions experiment. We find that both rewards andsanctions increase contributions only when subjects interact repeatedly, though rewardsseem to be more effective than sanctions. Moreover, in contrast to sanctions, rewards dohave an impact on future contributions. Although the direct effect is negative, there is apositive indirect effect that applies to subjects who contribute above (below) the groupaverage in a partner (stranger) matching. From this we conclude that sanctions andrewards are mainly used as a communication channel to coordinate on a more efficientoutcome. Nevertheless, subjects also seem to experience additional utility from receivingapproval, whereas they are insensitive to disapprovals.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00433.x
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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 1442-1456

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:51:y:2013:i:2:p:1442-1456
DOI: j.1465-7295.2011.00433.x
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  1. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  2. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  3. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Martin Sefton & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2007. "The Effect Of Rewards And Sanctions In Provision Of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 671-690, October.
  6. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Anticipated verbal feedback induces altruistic behavior," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 668, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  8. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1999. "Strategic behavior in public good games: when partners drift apart," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 35-41, January.
  9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:86:y:1992:i:02:p:404-417_08 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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