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Cooperation and norm enforcement - The individual-level perspective

Felix Albrecht, Sebastian Kube and Christian Traxler

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 165, issue C, 1-16

Abstract: We explore the relationship between individuals' disposition to cooperate and their inclination to engage in peer punishment as well as their relative importance for mitigating social dilemmas. Using a modified strategy-method approach we identify individual punishment patterns and link them with individual cooperation patterns. Classifying N = 628 subjects along these two dimensions documents that cooperation and punishment patterns are aligned for most individuals. However, the data also reveal a sizable share of free-riders that punish pro-socially and conditional cooperators that do not engage in punishment. Analyzing the interplay between types in an additional experiment, we show that pro-social punishers are important for achieving cooperation. Incorporating information on punishment types explains large amounts of the between- and within-group variation in cooperation.

Keywords: Strategy-method; Punishment patterns; Type classification; Conditional cooperation; Public-goods game; Laboratory experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C9 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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