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Public Goods and Voting on Formal Sanction Schemes: An Experiment

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Abstract

The burgeoning literature on the use of sanctions to support public goods provision has largely neglected the use of formal or centralized sanctions. We let subjects playing a linear public goods game vote on the parameters of a formal sanction scheme capable both of resolving and of exacerbating the free-rider problem, depending on parameter settings. Most groups quickly learned to choose parameters inducing efficient outcomes. But despite uniform money payoffs implying common interest in those parameters, voting patterns suggest significant influence of cooperative orientation, political attitudes, and of gender and intelligence.

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  • Louis Putterman & Jean-Robert Tyran & Kenju Kamei, 2010. "Public Goods and Voting on Formal Sanction Schemes: An Experiment," Working Papers 2010-1, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2010-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arhan Ertan & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005. "Can Endogenously Chosen Institutions Mitigate the Free-Rider Problem and Reduce Perverse Punishment?," Working Papers 2005-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Robert Tyran & Kenju Kamei & Louis Putterman, 2011. "State or Nature? Formal vs. Informal Sanctioning in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Vienna Economics Papers 1104, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    2. Josh Cherry & Stephen Salant & Neslihan Uler, 2015. "Experimental departures from self-interest when competing partnerships share output," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 89-115, March.
    3. Kamei, Kenju, 2012. "From locality to continent: A comment on the generalization of an experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 207-210.
    4. Jean-Robert Tyran & Thomas Markussen & Louis Putterman, 2011. "Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Formal, Informal, and No Sanction Regimes," Vienna Economics Papers 1103, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    5. Jones, Garett, 2012. "Cognitive skill and technology diffusion: An empirical test," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 444-460.
    6. Julian Rauchdobler & Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2010. "Voting on Thresholds for Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(1), pages 34-64, March.
    7. Norton, Douglas A., 2015. "Killing the (coordination) moment: How ambiguity eliminates the restart effect in voluntary contribution mechanism experiments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 1-5.
    8. Christoph Engel, 2010. "Turning the Lab into Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. A Lab Experiment on the Transparency of Punishment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jun 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public good; voluntary contribution; formal sanction; experiment; penalty;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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