Imperfect public monitoring with costly punishment: An experimental study


Journal Article

This paper experimentally investigates the effects of a costly punishment option on cooperation and social welfare in long, finitely repeated public good contribution games. In a perfect monitoring environment, increasing the severity of the potential punishment monotonically increases average net payoffs. In a more realistic imperfect monitoring environment, we find a U-shaped relationship. Access to a standard punishment technology in this setting significantly decreases net payoffs, even in the long run. Access to a severe punishment technology leads to roughly the same payoffs as with no punishment option, as the benefits of increased cooperation offset the social costs of punishing. Copyright © 2012 by the American Economic Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ambrus, A; Greiner, B

Published Date

  • December 1, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 102 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 3317 - 3332

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8282

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1257/aer.102.7.3317

Citation Source

  • Scopus