Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments

Olivier Bochet, Talbot Page, Louis Putterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compare three forms of communication and punishment as incentives to increase contributions to public goods in laboratory experiments. We find, as in earlier experiments, that face-to-face communication has very strong effects, but surprisingly that verbal communication through a chat room preserving anonymity and excluding facial expression, etc. was almost as efficient. Numerical communication, via computer terminals, had no net effect on contributions or efficiency. Punishment, as in earlier experiments, increased contributions but because of its cost had little net effect on efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-26
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Cheap talk
  • Collective action
  • Communication
  • Public goods
  • Punishment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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