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Coordination in Teams: A Real Effort-task Experiment with Informal Punishment

This paper reports the results from a real-effort team production experiment, where best performers can impose either tacit or explicit sanctions on their less-performing partners. The behavior of the best performer in the team differs from one condition to another. When explicit sanctions are not allowed, good performers reduce their effort in response to the advantageous difference in scores; when they can impose sanctions, their change in effort is no longer related to the difference in scores. To some extent, a mechanism of explicit sanctions allows good performers to focus on their own performance. Not sanctioning an opponent who under-performs, what we refer to as forgiveness, prompts the latter to improve his performance, but applying the sanction has a stronger effect.

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Paper provided by ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School in its series ESSEC Working Papers with number WP1310.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-13010
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ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France

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  1. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1991. "Optimal Contracts for Teams," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 561-77, August.
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  9. Daniel Houser & Erte Xiao & Kevin McCabe & Vernon Smith, 2005. "When Punishment Fails: Research on Sanctions, Intentions and Non- Cooperation," Experimental 0502001, EconWPA, revised 18 Feb 2005.
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  12. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "A comparative statics analysis of punishment in public-good experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(4), pages 358-369, December.
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