Feedback, Punishment and Cooperation in Public-Good Experiments
University of Melbourne Dept. of Economics Research Paper No. 1036
31 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008
Date Written: April 18, 2008
A number of studies have shown that peer punishment can sustain cooperation in public good games. This paper shows that the format used to give subjects feedback is critical for the efficacy of punishment. Providing subjects with information about the earnings of their peers leads to lower contributions and earnings compared to a treatment in which subjects receive information about the contributions of their peers even though the feedback format does not affect incentives. The data suggest that this is because the feedback format acts as a coordination device, which influences the contribution standards that groups establish.
Keywords: feedback format, peer punishment, public good game, altruistic punishment
JEL Classification: C92, D70, H41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation