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Why Punish: Social Reciprocity and the Enforcement of Prosocial Norms

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  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    ()

  • Peter Matthews

    ()

  • Okomboli Ong'ong'a

Abstract

Recently economists have become interested in why people who face social dilemmas in the experimental lab use the seemingly incredible threat of punishment to deter free riding. Three theories with evolvutionary microfoundations have been developed to explain punishment. We survey these theories and use behavioral data from surveys and experiments to show that the theory called social reciprocity in which people punish norm violators indiscriminately explains punishment best.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews & Okomboli Ong'ong'a, 2003. "Why Punish: Social Reciprocity and the Enforcement of Prosocial Norms," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0213r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0213r
    as

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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0213R.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Güth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Discussion Paper 1993-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    7. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1993. "An Economist's Perspective on the Evolution of Norms," Working papers 9323, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    8. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews, 2002. "Social Reciprocity," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0229, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    9. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "Mutual Monitoring in Teams: The Effects of Residual Claimancy and Reciprocity," Research in Economics 98-08-074e, Santa Fe Institute.
    10. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
    11. Sethi, Rajiv, 1996. "Evolutionary stability and social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 113-140, January.
    12. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social dilemma; punishment; norm; evolutionary game theory; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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