Responsibility to Punish: Discouraging Free-Riders in Public Goods Games
This study employs a public goods game in which participants can punish each other for free-riding. This paper examines the motivation for punishment behavior when the situation is such that a rational individual will not punish. This paper predicts and finds evidence for the punishment of free-ridership, even when not punishing is the profit-maximizing strategy. Specifically, this paper finds participants will punish more when designated the sole punisher for a group, than when all group members are allowed to punish. This result implies that those individuals who punish for non-rational reasons often free-ride on each others’ punishment. Accordingly, the study suggests individual responsibility is important for ensuring the strength of institutions aimed at punishing selfish behavior. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2008
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Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Anderson, Christopher M. & Putterman, Louis, 2006.
"Do non-strategic sanctions obey the law of demand? The demand for punishment in the voluntary contribution mechanism,"
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- Torsten Decker & Andreas Stiehler & Martin Strobel, 2003. "A Comparison of Punishment Rules in Repeated Public Good Games - An Experimental Study -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Decker,Torsten & Stiehler,Andreas & Strobel,Martin, 2002. "A Comparison of Punishment Rules in Repeated Public Good Games - An Experimental Study," Research Memorandum 020, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- repec:cup:apsrev:v:86:y:1992:i:02:p:404-417_08 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, "undated". "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
- Mark T. Gillis & Paul L. Hettler, 2007. "Hypothetical and Real Incentives in the Ultimatum Game and Andreoni’s Public Goods Game: An Experimental Study," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 491-510, Fall. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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