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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Crosetto & Werner Güth & Luigi Mittone & Matteo Ploner, 2012. "Motives of Sanctioning: Equity and Emotions in a Public Good Experiment with Punishment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-046, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-046
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Sutter, Matthias & van der Heijden, Eline, 2007. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1023-1042, June.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel, 2016. "Experimental Criminal Law. A Survey of Contributions from Law, Economics and Criminology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Ploner, Matteo & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Self-image and moral balancing: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 374-383.
    3. Engel, Christoph, 2014. "Social preferences can make imperfect sanctions work: Evidence from a public good experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 343-353.
    4. Christoph Engel, 2013. "Deterrence by Imperfect Sanctions – A Public Good Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_09, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public good games; Punishment; Experiments; Conditional cooperation;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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