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Science. 2008 Dec 5;322(5907):1510. doi: 10.1126/science.1164744.

The long-run benefits of punishment.

Author information

1
Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, University of Nottingham, School of Economics, Sir Clive Granger Building, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. simon.gaechter@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Experiments have shown that punishment enhances socially beneficial cooperation but that the costs of punishment outweigh the gains from cooperation. This challenges evolutionary models of altruistic cooperation and punishment, which predict that punishment will be beneficial. We compared 10- and 50-period cooperation experiments. With the longer time horizon, punishment is unambiguously beneficial.

PMID:
19056978
DOI:
10.1126/science.1164744
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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