Punishment, reward, and cooperation in a framed field experiment
We report the results of a framed field experiment, in which we study the effectiveness of punishment and reward in sustaining cooperation in a social dilemma. Punishments tend to be directed at non-cooperators and rewards are assigned by those who are relatively cooperative. In contrast to the results typically found in laboratory experiments, however, we find that punishments and rewards fail to increase the average level of cooperation.
KeywordsEffort Level Negative Externality Social Dilemma Baseline Treatment Cooperation Level
We are grateful to the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NWO, for financial support as part of the Program on Evolution and Behavior. We would like to thank Ben and Shirley Willems for use of their fishing facility, and Paul Ludena Delgado, Joris Hoendervangers, Stef van Kessel, and Menusch Khadjavi for excellent research assistance. We thank two anonymous referees, as well as seminar participants at Iowa State and Nottingham Universities for helpful comments.
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