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We study the individual behavior of students and workers in an experiment where they repeatedly face the same cooperative task. The data show that clerical workers differ from college students in overall cooperation rates, strategy adoption and use of punishment opportunities. Students cooperate more than workers. Cooperation increases in both subject pools when a personal punishment option is available. Students are less likely than workers to adopt strategies of unconditional defection, and more likely to select strategies of conditional cooperation. Finally, students are more likely than workers to sanction uncooperative behavior by adopting decentralized punishment, and also personal punishment when available.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, volume 94 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.024

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