The introduction of sanctions provides incentives for more pro-social behavior, but may also be a signal that non-cooperation is prevalent. In an experimental minimum-effort coordination game we investigate the effects of the information contained in the choice to sanction. We compare the effect of sanctions that are introduced exogenously by the experimenter to that of sanctions which have been actively chosen by a subject who has superior information about the previous effort of the other players. We find that cooperative subjects perceive actively chosen sanctions as a negative signal which significantly reduces the effect of sanctions. © 2013.
Galbiati, R., Schlag, K. H., & van der Weele, J. J. (2013). Sanctions that signal: An experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 94, 34–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2013.08.002