Do Informal Sanctions Increase Cooperation in the Long Run?
We conduct an experiment to explore the durability and transferability of the increase in contributions to a public good resulting from the existence of a particular type of implicit informal sanction. Rege and Telle (2003) find that in one-shot games, the sanctioning system leads to high contributions. In this study, we argue that the sanction is ineffective in increasing cooperation in the long run in a repeated game. Furthermore, the sanctions have no effect in increasing cooperative behavior in subsequent games where no sanctions are present. Using our results and those from other studies, we conjecture that informal sanctions are more effective in evoking the emotions leading to cooperative behavior when agents receive explicit expressions of disapproval that they cannot avoid
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