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Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Laurent Denant-Boèmont

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - UNICAEN - Université Caen Normandie - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • David Masclet

    ()

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - UNICAEN - Université Caen Normandie - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CIRANO - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en ANalyse des Organisations)

  • Charles Noussair

    (Department of Economics - Tilburg University [Netherlands])

We present the results of an experiment that explores the sanctioning behavior of individuals who experience a social dilemma. In the game we study, players choose contribution levels to a public good and subsequently have multiple opportunities to reduce the earnings of the other members of the group. The treatments vary in terms of individuals' opportunities to (a) avenge sanctions that have been directed toward themselves, and (b) punish others' sanctioning behavior with respect to third parties. We find that individuals do avenge sanctions they have received, and this serves to decrease contribution levels. They also punish thosewho fail to sanction third parties, but the resulting increase in contributions is smaller than the decrease the avenging of sanctions induces. When there are five rounds of unrestricted sanctioning, contributions and welfare are significantly lower than when only one round of sanctioning opportunities exists, and welfare is lower than at a benchmark of zero cooperation.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00144843.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Publication status: Published in Economic Theory, Springer Verlag, 2007, 33 (1), pp.145-167. <10.1007/s00199-007-0212-0>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00144843
DOI: 10.1007/s00199-007-0212-0
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00144843
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. 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.
  2. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2006. "Can second-order punishment deter perverse punishment?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 265-279, September.
  5. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
  6. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  7. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
  8. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Marco Casari, 2005. "On the Design of Peer Punishment Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 107-115, June.
  11. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
  12. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
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