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Punishment and cooperation: the "old" theory

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  • Ortona, Guido

    ()

Abstract

The so-called problem of the spontaneous cooperation has been substantially resolved through a mix of biology and economics. All the elements of the solution had been discovered by 1980s, yet they went somehow unnoticed. This "old" solution is the subject of this review. Its most relevant feature was the discovery that the adoption of punishment as an equilibrium-enforcing device makes a cooperative solution in a repeated prisoner's dilemma possible. This opened the way to a biological (or anthropological) explanation otherwise logically inconsistent.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortona, Guido, 2010. "Punishment and cooperation: the "old" theory," POLIS Working Papers 150, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:150
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    File URL: http://polis.unipmn.it/pubbl/RePEc/uca/ucapdv/ortona173.pdf
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    Keywords

    norms; cooperation; punishment;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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