Strategic vs. Non-Strategic Motivations of Sanctioning

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2008-48

33 Pages Posted: 21 May 2008

See all articles by Jana Vyrastekova

Jana Vyrastekova

Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics

Yukihiko Funaki

Waseda University, School of Political Science and Economics

Ai Takeuchi

Ritsumeikan University

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

We isolate strategic and non-strategic motivations of sanctioning in a repeated public goods game. In two experimental treatments, subjects play the public goods game with the possibility to sanction others. In the STANDARD sanctions treatment, each subject learns about the sanctions received in the same round as they were assigned, but in the SECRET sanctions treatment, sanctions are announced only after the experiment is finished, removing in this way all strategic reasons to punish. We find that sanctioning is similar in both treatments, giving support for nonstrategic explanations of sanctions (altruistic punishment). Interestingly, contributions to the public good in both treatments with sanctioning are higher than when the public goods game is played without any sanctioning, irrespective of announcing the sanctions to their receivers during the play of the game, or only after the game is finished. The mere knowledge that sanctions might be assigned increases cooperation: subjects correctly expect that nonstrategic sanctioning takes place against freeriders.

Keywords: altruistic punishment, nonstrategic sanctions, strategic sanctions, public goods, economic experiment

JEL Classification: C72, C92, D74

Suggested Citation

Vyrastekova, Jana and Funaki, Yukihiko and Takeuchi, Ai, Strategic vs. Non-Strategic Motivations of Sanctioning (May 1, 2008). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2008-48, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1135525 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1135525

Jana Vyrastekova (Contact Author)

Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics ( email )

Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

Yukihiko Funaki

Waseda University, School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Tokyo 169-8050
Japan

Ai Takeuchi

Ritsumeikan University ( email )

Japan

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