Albrecht, Felix Kube, Sebastian Traxler, Christian
CESifo Working Paper No. 6284
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 novel 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 intuitively 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 more crucial for achieving cooperation than conditional cooperators. Incorporating information on punishment types explains large amounts of the between and within group variation in cooperation.
strategy method punishment patterns type classification conditional cooperation public-goods game