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The Limits of Self-Governance in the Presence of Spite: Experimental Evidence from Urban and Rural Russia

Simon Gächter and Benedikt Herrmann ()
Additional contact information
Benedikt Herrmann: European Commission

No 2236, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We report evidence from public goods experiments with and without punishment which we conducted in Russia with 566 urban and rural participants of young and mature age cohorts. Russia is interesting for studying voluntary cooperation because of its long history of collectivism, and a huge urban-rural gap. In contrast to previous experiments we find no cooperation-enhancing effect of punishment. An important reason is that there is substantial spiteful punishment of high contributors in all four subject pools. Thus, spite undermines the scope for self-governance in the sense of high levels of voluntary cooperation that are sustained by sanctioning free riders only.

Keywords: social norms; free riding; punishment; spite; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 D23 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2006-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-cwa, nep-exp, nep-pbe, nep-soc and nep-tra
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed

Published - revised version published in: European Economic Review, 2011, 55 (2), 193-210

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Working Paper: The limits of self-governance in the presence of spite: Experimental evidence from urban and rural russia (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: The limits of self-governance in the presence of spite: Experimental evidence from urban and rural Russia (2006) Downloads
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