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The effects of punishment in dynamic public-good games

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

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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22097.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22097
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  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.
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  4. 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.
  5. Noussair, Charles & Soo, Cindy, 2008. "Voluntary contributions to a dynamic public good: Experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 71-77, January.
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  8. Fershtman, C. & Nitzan, S., 1988. "Dynamic Voluntary Provision Of Public Goods," Papers 21-88, Tel Aviv.
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  17. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "A comparative statics analysis of punishment in public-good experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 358-369, December.
  18. 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.
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  22. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
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