Asymmetric Enforcement of Cooperation in a Social Dilemma

43 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2009

See all articles by Nikos Nikiforakis

Nikos Nikiforakis

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Hans-Theo Normann

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Brian Wallace

University College London - Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution (ELSE)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2009

Abstract

We use a public-good experiment to analyze behavior in a decentralized asymmetric punishment institution. The institution is asymmetric in the sense that players differ in the effectiveness of their punishment. At the aggregate level, we observe remarkable similarities between outcomes in asymmetric and symmetric punishment institutions. Controlling for the average punishment effectiveness of the institutions, we find that asymmetric punishment institutions are as effective in fostering cooperation and as efficient as symmetric institutions. At the individual level, we find that players with higher punishment effectiveness contribute similar amounts to the public account, but have higher earnings and punish more than their weak counterparts.

JEL Classification: C92, D70, H41

Suggested Citation

Nikiforakis, Nikos and Normann, Hans-Theo and Wallace, Brian, Asymmetric Enforcement of Cooperation in a Social Dilemma (June 2009). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2009/20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1431904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1431904

Nikos Nikiforakis

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/nnikiforakis/home

Hans-Theo Normann (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Brian Wallace

University College London - Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution (ELSE) ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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