Is altruism bad for cooperation?

Cited 17 time in webofscience Cited 0 time in scopus
  • Hit : 346
  • Download : 0
Some philosophers and social scientists have stressed the importance for good government of an altruistic citizenry that values the well being of fellow citizens. Economists, however, have emphasized the need for incentives that induce even the self-interested to contribute to the public good. Implicitly most have assumed that these two approaches are complementary or at worst additive. But this need not be the case. Behavioral experiments find that if reciprocity-minded subjects feel hostility towards free riders and enjoy inflicting harm on them, the incentives provided by the anticipated punishment support near efficient levels of contributions to a public good. Cooperation may also be supported if altruistic individuals internalize the group benefits that their contributions produce. But the effects of these two supports for high levels of cooperation may be less than additive. Using a utility function embodying both reciprocity and altruism we show that unconditional altruism attenuates the punishment motive and thus may reduce the level of punishment inflicted on defectors, resulting in lower levels of contribution. Increases in altruism may also reduce the level of benefits from the public project net of contribution costs and punishment costs. The range over which altruism inhibits cooperation and reduces material payoffs is greater, the stronger is the reciprocity motive among group members. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Publisher
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Issue Date
2012-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

STRONG RECIPROCITY; HIDDEN COSTS; PUBLIC-GOODS; PUNISHMENT; INCENTIVES; ECONOMICS; MECHANISM; EVOLUTION; SANCTIONS; FAIRNESS

Citation

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION, v.83, no.3, pp.330 - 341

ISSN
0167-2681
DOI
10.1016/j.jebo.2012.06.001
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/219697
Appears in Collection
MT-Journal Papers(저널논문)
Files in This Item
There are no files associated with this item.
This item is cited by other documents in WoS
⊙ Detail Information in WoSⓡ Click to see webofscience_button
⊙ Cited 17 items in WoS Click to see citing articles in records_button

qr_code

  • mendeley

    citeulike


rss_1.0 rss_2.0 atom_1.0