New Insights into Conditional Cooperation and Punishment from a Strategy Method Experiment

58 Pages Posted: 17 May 2011

See all articles by Stephen L. Cheung

Stephen L. Cheung

The University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This paper introduces new experimental designs to enrich understanding of conditional cooperation and punishment in public good games. The key to these methods is to elicit complete contribution or punishment profiles using the strategy method. It is found that the selfish bias in conditional cooperation is made significantly worse when other players contribute more unequally. Contingent punishment strategies are found to increase with decreasing contributions by the target player and also increasing contributions by a third player. "Antisocial" punishments are not directed specifically toward high contributors, but may be motivated by pre-emptive retaliation against punishment a player expects to incur.

Keywords: conditional cooperation, selfish bias, punishment, public good experiment, strategy method

JEL Classification: C72, C91, D70, H41

Suggested Citation

Cheung, Stephen L., New Insights into Conditional Cooperation and Punishment from a Strategy Method Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5689, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1842086 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1842086

Stephen L. Cheung (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney ( email )

School of Economics
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HOME PAGE: http://https://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics/staff/profiles/stephen.cheung.php

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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