Threat and Punishment in Public Good Experiments
Experimental studies of social dilemmas have shown that while the existence of a sanctioning institution improves cooperation within groups, it also has a detrimental impact on group earnings in the short run. Could the introduction of pre-play threats to punish have enough of a beneficial impact on cooperation, while not incurring the cost associated with actual punishment, so that they increase overall welfare? We report an experiment in which players can issue non-binding threats to punish others based on their contribution levels to a public good. After observing others' actual contributions, they choose their actual punishment level. We find that threats increase the level of contributions significantly. Efficiency is improved, but only in the latter periods. However, the possibility of sanctioning differences between threatened and actual punishment leads to lower threats, cooperation, and welfare, restoring them to levels equal to or below the levels attained in the absence of threats.
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|Date of creation:||Apr 2013|
|Publication status:||Published in Economic Inquiry, Wiley, 2013, 51 (2), pp.1421-1441. 〈10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00452.x〉|
|Note:||View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00753478|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/|
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- Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
- Laurent Denant-Boemont & David Masclet & Charles Noussair, 2007.
"Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment,"
Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 145-167, October.
- David Masclet & Laurent Denant-Boèmont & Charles Noussair, 2006. "Punishment, Counterpunishment and Sanction Enforcement in a Social Dilemma Experiment," Working Papers halshs-00009664, HAL.
- Denant-Boemont, L. & Masclet, D. & Noussair, C.N., 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment, and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Other publications TiSEM bf51dcf1-7064-41d1-8560-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Laurent Denant-Boèmont & David Masclet & Charles Noussair, 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Post-Print halshs-00144843, HAL.
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