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Asymmetric Enforcement of Cooperation in a Social Dilemma

  • Nikos Nikiforakis

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 3010, Victoria, Australia)

  • Hans-Theo Normann

    ()

    (Department of Management and Applied Microeconomics, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Grueneburgplatz 1, 60629 Frankfurt, Germany)

  • Brian Wallace

    ()

    (ELSE & Department of Economics, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK)

We use a public-good experiment to analyze behavior in a decentralized asymmetric punishment institution. The institution is asymmetric in the sense that players differ in the effectiveness of their punishment. At the aggregate level, we observe remarkable similarities between outcomes in asymmetric and symmetric punishment institutions. Controlling for the average punishment effectiveness of the institutions, we find that asymmetric punishment institutions are as effective in fostering cooperation and are as efficient as symmetric institutions. At the individual level, we find that players with higher punishment effectiveness contribute similar amounts to the public account but have higher earnings and punish more than their weak counterparts.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 76 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 638-659

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:76:3:y:2010:p:638-659
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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  1. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2010. "Feedback, punishment and cooperation in public good experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 689-702, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
  4. Nikos Nikiforakis & Dirk Engelmann, 2008. "Feuds in the Laboratory? A Social Dilemma Experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1058, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "A comparative statics analysis of punishment in public-good experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 358-369, December.
  7. Denant-Boemont, L. & Masclet, D. & Noussair, C.N., 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment, and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Other publications TiSEM bf51dcf1-7064-41d1-8560-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  8. Olivier Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2005-09, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  12. James Andreoni, 1994. "Warm-Glow versus Cold-Prickle: The Effects of Positive and Negative Framing on Cooperation in Experiments," Experimental 9410002, EconWPA.
  13. 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.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "The Demand for Punishment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0243, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  18. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
  20. Cherry, Todd L. & Kroll, Stephan & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "The impact of endowment heterogeneity and origin on public good contributions: evidence from the lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 357-365, July.
  21. Fisher, Joseph, et al, 1995. " Heterogenous Demand for Public Goods: Behavior in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 249-66, December.
  22. Visser, Martine & Burns, Justine, 2006. "Bridging the Great Divide in South Africa: Inequality and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers in Economics 219, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  23. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2002. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Working Papers 2002-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  24. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2005. "Driving Forces Behind Informal Sanctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 2017-2030, November.
  25. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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