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Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Sanction Regimes

Entrusting the power to punish to a central authority is a hallmark of civilization, yet informal or horizontal sanctions have attracted more attention of late. We study experimentally a collective action dilemma and test whether subjects choose a formal sanction scheme that costs less than the surp... Full description

Journal Title: Review of Economic Studies 2014-01-01, Vol.81 (1 (286)), p.301-324
Main Author: Markussen, T.
Other Authors: Putterman, L. , Tyran, J.-R.
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Oxford: Oxford University Press
ID: ISSN: 0034-6527
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recordid: cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_1761477644
title: Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Sanction Regimes
format: Article
creator:
  • Markussen, T.
  • Putterman, L.
  • Tyran, J.-R.
subjects:
  • Collective action
  • Collectivism
  • Decision analysis
  • Democracy
  • Design of experiments
  • Dividends
  • Economic sanctions
  • Economic theory
  • Endowments
  • Fixed costs
  • Free rider effect
  • Modeling
  • Public goods
  • Sanctions
  • Studies
  • Voting
ispartof: Review of Economic Studies, 2014-01-01, Vol.81 (1 (286)), p.301-324
description: Entrusting the power to punish to a central authority is a hallmark of civilization, yet informal or horizontal sanctions have attracted more attention of late. We study experimentally a collective action dilemma and test whether subjects choose a formal sanction scheme that costs less than the surplus it makes possible, as predicted by standard economic theory, or instead opt for the use of informal sanctions (IS) or no sanctions. Our subjects choose, and succeed in using, IS surprisingly often, their voting decisions being responsive to the cost of formal sanctions. Adoption by voting enhances the efficiency of both IS and non-deterrent formal sanctions. Results are qualitatively confirmed under several permutations of the experimental design.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0034-6527
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0034-6527
  • 1467-937X
url: Link


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descriptionEntrusting the power to punish to a central authority is a hallmark of civilization, yet informal or horizontal sanctions have attracted more attention of late. We study experimentally a collective action dilemma and test whether subjects choose a formal sanction scheme that costs less than the surplus it makes possible, as predicted by standard economic theory, or instead opt for the use of informal sanctions (IS) or no sanctions. Our subjects choose, and succeed in using, IS surprisingly often, their voting decisions being responsive to the cost of formal sanctions. Adoption by voting enhances the efficiency of both IS and non-deterrent formal sanctions. Results are qualitatively confirmed under several permutations of the experimental design.
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subjectCollective action ; Collectivism ; Decision analysis ; Democracy ; Design of experiments ; Dividends ; Economic sanctions ; Economic theory ; Endowments ; Fixed costs ; Free rider effect ; Modeling ; Public goods ; Sanctions ; Studies ; Voting
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abstractEntrusting the power to punish to a central authority is a hallmark of civilization, yet informal or horizontal sanctions have attracted more attention of late. We study experimentally a collective action dilemma and test whether subjects choose a formal sanction scheme that costs less than the surplus it makes possible, as predicted by standard economic theory, or instead opt for the use of informal sanctions (IS) or no sanctions. Our subjects choose, and succeed in using, IS surprisingly often, their voting decisions being responsive to the cost of formal sanctions. Adoption by voting enhances the efficiency of both IS and non-deterrent formal sanctions. Results are qualitatively confirmed under several permutations of the experimental design.
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