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Punishment with Uncertain Outcomes in the Prisoner’s Dilemma

This paper experimentally investigates whether risk-averse individuals punish less if the outcome of punishment is uncertain than when it is certain. Our design includes three treatments: Baseline in which the one-shot prisoner’s dilemma game is played; Certain Punishment in which the prisoner’s dilemma game is followed by a punishment stage allowing subjects to decrease the other player’s payoff by 2 Euros; and Uncertain Punishment in which subjects could decrease the other player’s payoff with a 50% probability by 1 Euro and with a 50% probability by 3 Euros. We find that in all cases the risk-averse subjects are equally likely to cooperate in the prisoner’s dilemma and equally likely to punish in the second stage in either of the two punishment treatments.

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File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/0912.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 09/12.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 25 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:09/12
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  1. Ernst Fehr & John A. List, 2004. "The Hidden Costs and Returns of Incentives-Trust and Trustworthiness Among CEOs," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 743-771, 09.
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  12. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
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  23. repec:fiu:wpaper:0801 is not listed on IDEAS
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  27. Peter Duersch & Maros Servátka, 2007. "Risky Punishment and Reward in the Prisoner’s Dilemma," Working Papers 0451, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2007.
  28. Nikos Nikiforakis & Dirk Engelmann, 2008. "Feuds in the Laboratory? A Social Dilemma Experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1058, The University of Melbourne.
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  30. Louis Putterman & Christopher M. Anderson, 2003. "Do Non-strategic Sanctions Obey the Law of Demand? The Demand for Punishment in the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Working Papers 2003-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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