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Asymmetric Enforcement of Cooperation in a Social Dilemma

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  • Nikos Nikiforakis
  • Hans-Theo Normann
  • Brian Wallace

Abstract

The imposition of sanctions is one of the most common means of enforcing cooperation in decentralized interactions. Typically, agents are asymmetric in the sense that each has a different sanctioning power. Using a public-good experiment we analyze such a decentralized punishment institution in which agents are asymmetric. The asymmetric punishment institution prevents the decay of cooperation towards the non-cooperative equilibrium level. Strong agents contribute less to the public good, but punish more than weak agents. At the aggregate level, we observe remarkable similarities between outcomes in asymmetric and symmetric punishment institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann & Brian Wallace, 2007. "Asymmetric Enforcement of Cooperation in a Social Dilemma," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 982, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:982
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    Cited by:

    1. Riedel, Nadine & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2013. "Asymmetric obligations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 67-80.
    2. Reuben, Ernesto & Riedl, Arno, 2013. "Enforcement of contribution norms in public good games with heterogeneous populations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 122-137.
    3. Fangfang Tan, 2008. "Punishment in a Linear Public Good Game with Productivity Heterogeneity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 269-293, September.
    4. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
    5. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2010. "Non-cooperative games with chained confirmed proposals," TSE Working Papers 10-192, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Weng, Qian & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2015. "Cooperation in teams: The role of identity, punishment, and endowment distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 25-38.
    7. Boosey, Luke & Mark Isaac, R., 2016. "Asymmetric network monitoring and punishment in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 26-41.
    8. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "A comparative statics analysis of punishment in public-good experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(4), pages 358-369, December.
    9. Kölle, Felix, 2015. "Heterogeneity and cooperation: The role of capability and valuation on public goods provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 120-134.
    10. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2013. "Do Explicit Reasons Make Legal Intervention More Effective? An Experimental Study," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Feb 2017.
    11. Andreas Leibbrandt & Abhijit Ramalingam & Lauri Sääksvuori & James Walker, 2015. "Incomplete punishment networks in public goods games: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 15-37, March.
    12. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Noussair, Charles N. & Wilkening, Tom, 2012. "Normative conflict and feuds: The limits of self-enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 797-807.
    13. Guererk, Oezguer & Rockenbach, Bettina & Wolff, Irenaeus, 2010. "The effects of punishment in dynamic public-good games," MPRA Paper 22097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2011. "An Experiment on Prisoner’s Dilemma with Confirmed Proposals," TSE Working Papers 11-274, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    15. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2009. "Motivating teammates: The leader's choice between positive and negative incentives," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-607, August.
    16. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2011. "An Experiment on Prisoner’s Dilemma with Confirmed Proposals," LERNA Working Papers 11.23.357, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    17. 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.
    18. Theodore Eisenberg & Christoph Engel, 2012. "Assuring Adequate Deterrence in Tort: A Public Good Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    19. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2013. "Empowering neighbors versus imposing regulations: An experimental analysis of pollution reduction schemes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 469-484.
    20. 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

    asymmetry; decentralized punishment; public good; punishment effectiveness;

    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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