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Motives of Sanctioning: Equity and Emotions in a Public Good Experiment with Punishment

Jena Economic Research Paper No. 2012 - 046

24 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2012  

Paolo Crosetto

Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory

Werner Guth

Max Planck Institute of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Luigi Mittone

Università degli Studi di Trento - Department of Economics and Management

Matteo Ploner

Università degli Studi di Trento

Date Written: August 7, 2012

Abstract

We study conditional cooperation based on a sequential two-person linear public good game in which a trusting first contributor can be exploited by a second contributor. After playing this game the first contributor is allowed to punish the second contributor. The consequences of sanctioning depend on the treatment: whereas punishment can reduce inequality in one treatment, it only creates another inequality in the other. To capture the effect of delay on punishment both treatments are run once with immediate and once with delayed punishment. Moreover, to investigate the effect of pure voice, all four treatments are also run in a virtual condition with no monetary consequences of punishment. Results show the emergence across all conditions of a strong norm of conditional cooperation. Punishment is generally low, it is higher when not delayed and it is not used to reduce inequality in payoffs. The main motive of sanctioning appears to be the need to punish a violation of the reciprocity norm, irrespective of monetary consequences.

Keywords: public good games, punishment, experiments, conditional cooperation

JEL Classification: C70, C72, C92, H41

Suggested Citation

Crosetto, Paolo and Guth, Werner and Mittone, Luigi and Ploner, Matteo, Motives of Sanctioning: Equity and Emotions in a Public Good Experiment with Punishment (August 7, 2012). Jena Economic Research Paper No. 2012 - 046. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2126455 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2126455

Paolo Crosetto (Contact Author)

Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory ( email )

BP 47
38040 Grenoble
France

Werner Güth

Max Planck Institute of Economics ( email )

Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena, 07745
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Luigi Mittone

Università degli Studi di Trento - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via Inama 5
Trento, I-38100
Italy

Matteo Ploner

Università degli Studi di Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

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