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Broken Punishment Networks in Public Goods Games: Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Andrweas Leibbrandt

    () (Department of Economics, Monash University, Australia)

  • Abhijit Ramalingam

    (School of Economics and Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science, and University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom)

  • Lauri Sääksvuori

    (Strategic Interaction Group, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)

  • James M. Walker

    (Department of Economics and Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, United States)

Abstract

Abundant evidence suggests that high levels of contributions to public goods can be sustained through self-governed monitoring and sanctions. This experimental study investigates the effectiveness of decentralized sanctioning institutions where punishment opportunities are restricted to agents who are linked through alternative punishment networks. We find that the structure of the punishment network significantly impacts contributions to the public good, but not overall efficiencies. Contributions collapse over decision rounds in groups with limited punishment opportunities, even if the absolute punishment capacity corresponds to the complete punishment network where all agents are allowed to punish each other. However, after allowing for the costs of sanctions, efficiencies are similar across the different networks that allow for punishment and the no-punishment network.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrweas Leibbrandt & Abhijit Ramalingam & Lauri Sääksvuori & James M. Walker, 2012. "Broken Punishment Networks in Public Goods Games: Experimental Evidence," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-004, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-004
    as

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    File URL: http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_2012_004.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin A & Smith, Vernon L, 1998. "Behavioral Foundations of Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and Evolutionary Psychology," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 335-352, July.
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    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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    6. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
    7. Martin Sefton & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2007. "The Effect Of Rewards And Sanctions In Provision Of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 671-690, October.
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    9. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2010. "Experimental Economics," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(3), pages 337-345.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2012. "Promoting Cooperation: the Distribution of Reward and Punishment Power," Discussion Papers 2012-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    2. Sven Fischer & Kristoffel Grechenig & Nicolas Meier, 2013. "Cooperation under punishment: Imperfect information destroys it and centralizing punishment does not help," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public goods experiment; punishment; cooperation; networks;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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