Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1733792
 
 

References (64)



 
 

Citations (5)



 


 



Punishment Despite Reasonable Doubt - A Public Goods Experiment with Sanctions Under Uncertainty


Kristoffel R. Grechenig


Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Andreas Nicklisch


Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Christian Thni


affiliation not provided to SSRN

November 18, 2010

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 7, Issue 4, pp. 847-867, 2010

Abstract:     
Under a great variety of legally relevant circumstances, people have to decide whether or not to cooperate when they face an incentive to defect. The law sometimes provides people with sanctioning mechanisms to enforce pro-social behavior. Experimental evidence on voluntary public goods provision shows that the option to punish others substantially improves cooperation, even if punishment is costly. However, these studies focus on situations where there is no uncertainty about the behavior of others. We investigate sanctions in a world with "reasonable doubt" about the contributions of others. Interestingly, people reveal a high willingness to punish even if their information about cooperation rates is highly inaccurate. If there is some nontrivial degree of noise, punishment (1) cannot establish cooperation high and (2) reduces welfare even below the level of a setting without punishment. Our findings suggest that sufficient information accuracy about others' behavior is crucial for the efficiency of sanction mechanisms. If a situation is characterized by low information accuracy, precluding sanctions, for example, through high standards of proof, is likely to be optimal.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Accepted Paper Series





Date posted: January 3, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Grechenig, Kristoffel R. and Nicklisch, Andreas and Thni, Christian, Punishment Despite Reasonable Doubt - A Public Goods Experiment with Sanctions Under Uncertainty (November 18, 2010). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 7, Issue 4, pp. 847-867, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1733792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-1461.2010.01197.x

Contact Information

Kristoffel R. Grechenig (Contact Author)
Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )
Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+49 228 91416-51 (Phone)
+49 228 91416-851 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/kristoffelgrechenig

Andreas Nicklisch
Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )
Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
49 228 9141679 (Phone)
49 228 9141655 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/nicklisch.html

Christian Thni
affiliation not provided to SSRN
No Address Available
Feedback to SSRN


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References:  64
Citations:  5

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