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Immaterial rewards and sanctions in a voluntary contribution experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Peeters Ronald
  • Vorsatz Marc

    (METEOR)

In this paper, we compare the cause and effect of immaterial rewards and sanctions oncooperation in a voluntary contributions experiment. We find that both rewards andsanctions increase contributions only when subjects interact repeatedly, though rewardsseem to be more effective than sanctions. Moreover, in contrast to sanctions, rewards dohave an impact on future contributions. Although the direct effect is negative, there is apositive indirect effect that applies to subjects who contribute above (below) the groupaverage in a partner (stranger) matching. From this we conclude that sanctions andrewards are mainly used as a communication channel to coordinate on a more efficientoutcome. Nevertheless, subjects also seem to experience additional utility from receivingapproval, whereas they are insensitive to disapprovals.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 005.

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Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2009005
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  1. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, May.
  2. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
  3. Martin Sefton & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2007. "The Effect Of Rewards And Sanctions In Provision Of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 671-690, October.
  4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:86:y:1992:i:02:p:404-417_08 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  6. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur & Offerman, Theo, 1999. "Strategic behavior in public good games: when partners drift apart," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 35-41, January.
  10. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Anticipated verbal feedback induces altruistic behavior," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 668, Stockholm School of Economics.
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