IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Group Size, Coordination, and the Effectiveness of Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism: An Experimental Investigation

  • Bin Xu

    ()

    (Experimental Social Science Laboratory, Zhejiang University and Public Administration College, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China
    Bin Xu is the holder of the grant from the Social Science Experimental Center of Zhejiang University that funded this project. All authors contributed equally to the study.)

  • C. Bram Cadsby

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada)

  • Liangcong Fan

    ()

    (Guanghua Law School, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

  • Fei Song

    ()

    (Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, M5G 2C5, Canada)

We examine the effectiveness of the individual-punishment mechanism in larger groups, comparing groups of four to groups of 40 participants. We find that the individual punishment mechanism is remarkably robust when the marginal per capita return (MPCR), i.e. the return to each participant from each dollar that is contributed, is held constant. Moreover, the efficiency gains from the punishment mechanism are significantly higher in the 40-participant than in the four-participant treatment. This is true despite the coordination problems inherent in an institution relying on decentralized individual punishment decisions in the context of a larger group. It reflects increased per capita expenditures on punishment that offset the greater coordination difficulties in the larger group. However, if the marginal group return (MGR), i.e. the return to the entire group of participants, stays constant, resulting in an MPCR that shrinks with group size, no such offset occurs and punishment loses much but not all of its effectiveness at encouraging voluntary contributions to a public good. Efficiency is not significantly different from the small-group treatment.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4336/4/1/89/pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4336/4/1/89/
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 4 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 89

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:4:y:2013:i:1:p:89-105:d:23658
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie Claire Villeval, 2001. "Monetary and Non-Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00151423, HAL.
  3. Anderson, Christopher M. & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Do non-strategic sanctions obey the law of demand? The demand for punishment in the voluntary contribution mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-24, January.
  4. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
  5. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2005. "A Comparative Statics Analysis of Punishment in Public-Good Experiments," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 05/07, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Jun 2005.
  8. James Andreoni & William T. harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-01, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 20 Aug 2002.
  9. Rand, David Gertler & Dreber, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Ellingson, Tore & Nowak, Martin A., 2009. "Positive Interactions Promote Public Cooperation," Scholarly Articles 3804483, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Marco Casari & Luigi Luini, 2009. "Cooperation Under Alternative Punishment Institutions:An Experiment," Post-Print hal-00685381, HAL.
  11. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:4:y:2013:i:1:p:89-105:d:23658. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.