TítuloBeyond the Carrot and Stick Approach to Enforcement: An Agent-Based Model
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsAndrighetto G, Villatoro D
Conference NameEuropean Conference on Cognitive Science
EditorialNew Bulgarian University Press
Conference LocationSofia
ISBN Number978-954-535-660-5
Palabras claveNorms, Punishment, Self-organization

As specified by Axelrod in his seminal work An Evolutionary Approach to Norms (Axelrod, 1986), punishment is a key mechanism to achieve the necessary social control and to enforce social norms in a self-regulated society. In this paper, we distinguish between two enforcing mechanisms, punishment and sanction, focusing on the specific ways in which they favour the emergence and maintenance of cooperation. In particular, by punishment we refer to a practice that works only by imposing a cost, while by sanction we indicate a practice that also signals the existence of a norm and that its violation is not condoned. To achieve this, we have developed a normative agent able both to punish and sanction offenders and to be affected by these enforcing mechanisms itself.The results obtained through agent-based simulation show that sanction is more effective and makes the population more resilient to sudden changes than mere punishment.