Feedback, punishment and cooperation in public good experiments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A number of studies have shown that peer punishment can sustain cooperation in public good games. This paper shows that the format used to give subjects feedback is critical for the efficacy of punishment. Providing subjects with information about the earnings of their peers leads to significantly less cooperation and lower efficiency compared to a treatment in which subjects receive information about the contributions of their peers. This is despite the fact that the feedback format does not affect incentives. The data suggest that this happens because the feedback format acts as a coordination device which influences the contribution standards that groups establish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-702
Number of pages14
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Altruistic punishment
  • Cooperation
  • Feedback format
  • Peer punishment
  • Public good game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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