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Alleviation and Sanctions in Social Dilemma Games

Department of Economics, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Academic Editor: Ananish Chaudhuri
Games 2015, 6(3), 368-380; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6030368
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 14 September 2015 / Accepted: 16 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Studies of Social Dilemma Games)
This paper reports an experiment which compares behaviour in two punishment regimes: (i) a standard public goods game with punishment in which subjects are given the opportunity to punish other group members (democratic punishment regime) and (ii) a public goods game environment where all group members exogenously experience an automatic reduction of their income (irrespective of their behaviour) and are given the opportunity to alleviate the automatic penalty (undemocratic punishment regime). We employ a within-subjects design where subjects experience both environments and control for order effects by alternating their sequence. Our findings indicate that average contributions and earnings in the undemocratic punishment environment are significantly lower relative to the standard public goods game with punishment. We also observe that in the undemocratic environment average contributions decay over time only when subjects have experienced the standard public goods game with punishment. As a result, alleviation is significantly less when subjects have experienced the standard public goods game with punishment compared to when they do not have such experience. However, the assignment of punishment is robust irrespective of the order in which the games are played. View Full-Text
Keywords: cooperation; reciprocity; alleviation; sanctions; public good experiments cooperation; reciprocity; alleviation; sanctions; public good experiments
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Drouvelis, M. Alleviation and Sanctions in Social Dilemma Games. Games 2015, 6, 368-380.

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