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The effects of punishment in dynamic public-good games

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  • Guererk, Oezguer
  • Rockenbach, Bettina
  • Wolff, Irenaeus

Abstract

Considerable experimental evidence shows that although costly peer-punishment enhances cooperation in repeated public-good games, heavy punishment in early rounds leads to average period payoffs below the non-cooperative equilibrium benchmark. In an environment where past payoffs determine present contribution capabilities, this could be devastating. Groups could fall prey to a poverty trap or, to avoid this, abstain from punishment altogether. We show that neither is the case generally. By continuously contributing larger fractions of their wealth, groups with punishment possibilities exhibit increasing wealth increments, while increments fall when punishment possibilities are absent. Nonetheless, single groups do succumb to the above-mentioned hazards.

Suggested Citation

  • Guererk, Oezguer & Rockenbach, Bettina & Wolff, Irenaeus, 2010. "The effects of punishment in dynamic public-good games," MPRA Paper 22097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22097
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gaechter, S. & Mengel, F. & Tsakas, E. & Vostroknutov, A., 2013. "Growth and inequality in public good games," Research Memorandum 070, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    2. 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.
    3. 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; Dynamic game; Punishment; Endowment endogeneity; Poverty-trap; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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