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The social structure of cooperation and punishment


Gintis, Herbert; Fehr, Ernst (2012). The social structure of cooperation and punishment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35(1):28-29.

Abstract

The standard theories of cooperation in humans, which depend on repeated interaction and reputation effects among self-regarding agents, are inadequate. Strong reciprocity, a predisposition to participate in costly cooperation and the punishment, fosters cooperation where self-regarding behaviors fail. The effectiveness of socially coordinated punishment depends on individual motivations to participate, which are based on strong reciprocity motives. The relative infrequency of high-cost punishment is a result of the ubiquity of strong reciprocity, not its absence.

Abstract

The standard theories of cooperation in humans, which depend on repeated interaction and reputation effects among self-regarding agents, are inadequate. Strong reciprocity, a predisposition to participate in costly cooperation and the punishment, fosters cooperation where self-regarding behaviors fail. The effectiveness of socially coordinated punishment depends on individual motivations to participate, which are based on strong reciprocity motives. The relative infrequency of high-cost punishment is a result of the ubiquity of strong reciprocity, not its absence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 February 2012
Deposited On:22 Oct 2018 15:39
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:48
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0140-525X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0140525x11000914
PubMed ID:22289317

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