Network Architecture and Mutual Monitoring in Public Goods Experiments

40 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2010

See all articles by Jeffrey P. Carpenter

Jeffrey P. Carpenter

Middlebury College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Shachar Kariv

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Andrew Schotter

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Abstract

Recent experiments show that public goods can be provided at high levels when mutual monitoring and costly punishment are allowed. All these experiments, however, study monitoring and punishment in a setting where all agents can monitor and punish each other (i.e., in a complete network). The architecture of social networks becomes important when individuals can only monitor and punish the other individuals to whom they are connected by the network. We study several non-trivial network architectures that give rise to their own distinctive patterns of behavior. Nevertheless, a number of simple, yet fundamental, properties in graph theory allow us to interpret the variation in the patterns of behavior that arise in the laboratory and to explain the impact of network architecture on the efficiency and dynamics of the experimental outcomes.

Keywords: experiment, networks, public good, monitoring, punishment

JEL Classification: D82, D83, C92

Suggested Citation

Carpenter, Jeffrey P. and Kariv, Shachar and Schotter, Andrew, Network Architecture and Mutual Monitoring in Public Goods Experiments. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5307. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1708753

Jeffrey P. Carpenter (Contact Author)

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802-443-3241 (Phone)
802-443-2084 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://community.middlebury.edu/~jcarpent/index.ht

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Shachar Kariv

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

Andrew Schotter

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States
212-998-8909 (Phone)
212-995-4186 (Fax)

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