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Feuds in the Laboratory? A Social Dilemma Experiment

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  • Nikos Nikiforakis
  • Dirk Engelmann

Abstract

Punishing free riders might promote cooperation, but it can also lead to feuds. We use a public good game with punishment opportunities to investigate whether the threat of feuds is e¢ ciency enhancing. Treatments di¤er with respect to whether a punish- ment can trigger a feud. In the main treatment (Feud) the number of punishment stages is endogenously determined and avoiding revenge is impossible. Participants are generally found to employ strategies that avoid the break out of feuds. While the possibility of a feud a¤ects punishment and contribution patterns, total earnings are not signi?cantly di¤erent from that in treatments where punishment opportunities do not exist or where punishment opportunities exist, but there is no possibility of escalation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikos Nikiforakis & Dirk Engelmann, 2008. "Feuds in the Laboratory? A Social Dilemma Experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1058, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1058
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    File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/802734/1058.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Nicklisch & Irenaeus Wolff, 2011. "Cooperation Norms in Multiple‐Stage Punishment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 791-827, October.
    2. Karakostas, Alexandros & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2016. "Compliance and the power of authority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 67-80.
    3. Wolff, Irenaeus, 2009. "Counterpunishment revisited: an evolutionary approach," MPRA Paper 16923, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Peter Duersch & Maroš Servátka, 2009. "Punishment with Uncertain Outcomes in the Prisoner’s Dilemma," Working Papers 0485, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    5. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Engelmann, Dirk, 2011. "Altruistic punishment and the threat of feuds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 319-332, May.
    6. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2010. "Feedback, punishment and cooperation in public good experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 689-702, March.
    7. Francesco GUALA, 2010. "Reciprocity: weak or strong? What punishment experiments do (and do not) demonstrate," Departmental Working Papers 2010-23, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    8. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann & Brian Wallace, 2010. "Asymmetric Enforcement of Cooperation in a Social Dilemma," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 638-659, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    feuds; public goods; punishment; revenge; experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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