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A comparison of punishment rules in repeated public good games: An experimental study


  • Decker, Torsten
  • Stiehler, Andreas
  • Strobel, Martin


In this experimental study we analyse three collective and one individual punishment rule in a public good setting. We show that under all punishment rules cooperation is stronger and more sustainable than reported from settings without punishment. Moreover, we present evidence and explanations for differences between the rules concerning punishment intensity, contribution and profit levels, as well as justice. Finally, we investigate influences crucial to participants' support for a collective rule when the individual rule is the status quo. We show that beside profit differences the degree of consent required by the collective rule is essential for the degree of support by the participants.

Suggested Citation

  • Decker, Torsten & Stiehler, Andreas & Strobel, Martin, 2002. "A comparison of punishment rules in repeated public good games: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,71, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200271

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2014. "On cooperation in open communities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 220-230.
    2. Casari, Marco & Luini, Luigi, 2009. "Cooperation under alternative punishment institutions: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 273-282, August.
    3. Charles N. Noussair & Fangfang Tan, 2011. "Voting on Punishment Systems within a Heterogeneous Group," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 661-693, October.
    4. Andreoni, James & Gee, Laura K., 2012. "Gun for hire: Delegated enforcement and peer punishment in public goods provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1036-1046.
    5. Gatiso, Tsegaye T. & Vollan, Björn & Nuppenau, Ernst-August, 2015. "Resource scarcity and democratic elections in commons dilemmas: An experiment on forest use in Ethiopia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 199-207.
    6. Vollan, Björn & Landmann, Andreas & Zhou, Yexin & Hu, Biliang & Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2017. "Cooperation and authoritarian values: An experimental study in China," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 90-105.
    7. Vollan, Björn & Prediger, Sebastian & Frölich, Markus, 2013. "Co-managing common-pool resources: Do formal rules have to be adapted to traditional ecological norms?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 51-62.
    8. Laura K. Gee & Xinxin Lyu & Heather Urry, 2017. "Anger Management: Aggression and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, January.
    9. Stephan Kroll & Todd L. Cherry & Jason F. Shogren, 2007. "Voting, Punishment, And Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 557-570, July.
    10. Zack Devlin-Foltz & Katherine Lim, 2008. "Responsibility to Punish: Discouraging Free-Riders in Public Goods Games," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 36(4), pages 505-518, December.
    11. Kube, Sebastian & Schaube, Sebastian & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Khachatryan, Elina, 2015. "Institution formation and cooperation with heterogeneous agents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 248-268.
    12. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rau, Holger A., 2014. "Simultaneous and sequential contributions to step-level public goods: One vs. two provision levels," DICE Discussion Papers 135, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item


    cooperation; experiment; public good; free-riding; punishment institution;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior


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