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Motives of Sanctioning: Equity and Emotions in a Public Good Experiment with Punishment

  • Paolo Crosetto

    ()

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

  • Werner Güth

    ()

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

  • Luigi Mittone

    (Department of Economics - CEEL, University of Trento, Italy)

  • Matteo Ploner

    (Department of Economics - CEEL, University of Trento, Italy)

We study conditional cooperation based on a sequential two-person linear public good game in which a trusting first contributor can be exploited by a second contributor. After playing this game the first contributor is allowed to punish the second contributor. The consequences of sanctioning depend on the treatment: whereas punishment can reduce inequality in one treatment, it only creates another inequality in the other. To capture the effect of delay on punishment both treatments are run once with immediate and once with delayed punishment. Moreover, to investigate the effect of pure voice, all four treatments are also run in a virtual condition with no monetary consequences of punishment. Results show the emergence across all conditions of a strong norm of conditional cooperation. Punishment is generally low, it is higher when not delayed and it is not used to reduce inequality in payoffs. The main motive of sanctioning appears to be the need to punish a violation of the reciprocity norm, irrespective of monetary consequences.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-046.

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Date of creation: 20 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-046
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  1. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2006. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-35, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  2. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Let me sleep on it: Delay reduces rejection rates in ultimatum games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 113-115, May.
  3. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  4. Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995. "Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
  8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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