Democratic Decisions Establish Stable Authorities That Overcome the Paradox of Second-Order Punishment. Hilbe, C., Traulsen, A., Röhl, T., & Milinski, M. 111(2):201315273–756.
Democratic Decisions Establish Stable Authorities That Overcome the Paradox of Second-Order Punishment [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Significance] Humans usually punish free riders but refuse to sanction those who cooperate but do not punish. However, such second-order punishment is essential to maintain cooperation. The central authorities established in modern societies punish both free riders and tax evaders. This is a paradox: would individuals who do not engage in second-order punishment strive for an authority that does? We address this puzzle with a mathematical model and an economic experiment. When individuals can choose between authorities by migrating between different communities, we find a costly bias against second-order punishment. When subjects use a majority vote instead, they vote for an authority with second-order punishment. These findings also suggest that other pressing social dilemmas could be solved by democratic voting. [Abstract] Individuals usually punish free riders but refuse to sanction those who cooperate but do not punish. This missing second-order peer punishment is a fundamental problem for the stabilization of cooperation. To solve this problem, most societies today have implemented central authorities that punish free riders and tax evaders alike, such that second-order punishment is fully established. The emergence of such stable authorities from individual decisions, however, creates a new paradox: it seems absurd to expect individuals who do not engage in second-order punishment to strive for an authority that does. Herein, we provide a mathematical model and experimental results from a public goods game where subjects can choose between a community with and without second-order punishment in two different ways. When subjects can migrate continuously to either community, we identify a bias toward institutions that do not punish tax evaders. When subjects have to vote once for all rounds of the game and have to accept the decision of the majority, they prefer a society with second-order punishment. These findings uncover the existence of a democracy premium. The majority-voting rule allows subjects to commit themselves and to implement institutions that eventually lead to a higher welfare for all.
@article{hilbeDemocraticDecisionsEstablish2013,
  title = {Democratic Decisions Establish Stable Authorities That Overcome the Paradox of Second-Order Punishment},
  author = {Hilbe, Christian and Traulsen, Arne and Röhl, Torsten and Milinski, Manfred},
  date = {2013-01},
  journaltitle = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  volume = {111},
  pages = {201315273--756},
  issn = {1091-6490},
  doi = {10.1073/pnas.1315273111},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1315273111},
  abstract = {[Significance] 

Humans usually punish free riders but refuse to sanction those who cooperate but do not punish. However, such second-order punishment is essential to maintain cooperation. The central authorities established in modern societies punish both free riders and tax evaders. This is a paradox: would individuals who do not engage in second-order punishment strive for an authority that does? We address this puzzle with a mathematical model and an economic experiment. When individuals can choose between authorities by migrating between different communities, we find a costly bias against second-order punishment. When subjects use a majority vote instead, they vote for an authority with second-order punishment. These findings also suggest that other pressing social dilemmas could be solved by democratic voting. [Abstract] 

Individuals usually punish free riders but refuse to sanction those who cooperate but do not punish. This missing second-order peer punishment is a fundamental problem for the stabilization of cooperation. To solve this problem, most societies today have implemented central authorities that punish free riders and tax evaders alike, such that second-order punishment is fully established. The emergence of such stable authorities from individual decisions, however, creates a new paradox: it seems absurd to expect individuals who do not engage in second-order punishment to strive for an authority that does. Herein, we provide a mathematical model and experimental results from a public goods game where subjects can choose between a community with and without second-order punishment in two different ways. When subjects can migrate continuously to either community, we identify a bias toward institutions that do not punish tax evaders. When subjects have to vote once for all rounds of the game and have to accept the decision of the majority, they prefer a society with second-order punishment. These findings uncover the existence of a democracy premium. The majority-voting rule allows subjects to commit themselves and to implement institutions that eventually lead to a higher welfare for all.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-12921529,cognitive-biases,decision-making,decision-making-procedure,democracy,mathematical-reasoning,paradox,science-based-decision-making,science-policy-interface},
  number = {2}
}
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