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Promoting cooperation in nonlinear social dilemmas through peer punishment

Author

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  • Timothy Cason

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  • Lata Gangadharan

Abstract

Many social dilemmas exhibit nonlinearities and equilibrium outcomes in the interior of the choice space. This paper reports a laboratory experiment studying whether peer punishment promotes socially efficient behavior in such environments, which have been ignored in most experimental studies of peer punishment. It compares the effectiveness of peer punishment in a linear public good game to the effectiveness of this decentralized enforcement mechanism in two nonlinear social dilemma games: a piecewise linear public good game and a common pool resource game. While peer punishment improves cooperation in these new environments, the impact of punishment is weaker and takes longer to be effective. This appears to be due to the greater complexity of the nonlinear settings, which makes socially optimal choices more difficult to identify. Copyright Economic Science Association 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Cason & Lata Gangadharan, 2015. "Promoting cooperation in nonlinear social dilemmas through peer punishment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 66-88, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:18:y:2015:i:1:p:66-88
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-014-9393-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abhijit Ramalingam & Antonio J. Morales & James M. Walker, 2017. "Peer sanctioning in isomorphic provision and appropriation social dilemmas," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-09R, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Yutaka Kobayashi, 2014. "The Instability of the Nash Equilibrium in Common-Pool Resources," Working Papers SDES-2014-5, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Oct 2014.
    3. Kingsley, David C., 2016. "Endowment heterogeneity and peer punishment in a public good experiment: Cooperation and normative conflict," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 49-61.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:254-276 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Robbett, Andrea, 2016. "Sustaining cooperation in heterogeneous groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 121-138.
    6. Liu, Jia & Riyanto, Yohanes Eko & Zhang, Ruike, 2017. "How Large Should the “Bullets” be? Dissecting the Role of Unilateral and Tie Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," MPRA Paper 80388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2014. "The instability of the voluntary contribution mechanism," Working Papers SDES-2014-3, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Oct 2014.
    8. Ganga Shreedhar, Alessandro Tavoni, Carmen Marchiori, 2018. "Monitoring and punishment networks in a common-pool resource dilemma: experimental evidence," GRI Working Papers 292, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    9. Xiaochuan Huang & Takehito Masuda & Yoshitaka Okano & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2014. "Cooperation among behaviorally heterogeneous players in social dilemma with stay or leave decisions," Working Papers SDES-2014-7, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Feb 2015.
    10. Abhijit Ramalingam & Antonio J. Morales & James M. Walker, 2016. "Peer sanctioning in isomorphic provision and appropriation social dilemmas," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    11. van Soest, Daan & Stoop, Jan & Vyrastekova, Jana, 2016. "Toward a delineation of the circumstances in which cooperation can be sustained in environmental and resource problems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-13.
    12. repec:eee:pubeco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiment; Voluntary contributions mechanism; Common pool resources; Public goods; Nonlinear returns; C90; D70; H41;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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