Coordinated punishment occurs when punishment decisions are complements; i.e., this punishment device requires a specific number of punishers to be effective; otherwise, no damage will be inflicted on the target. While societies often rely on this punishment device, its benefits are unclear compared with uncoordinated punishment, where punishment decisions are substitutes. We argue that coordinated punishment can prevent the free-riding of punishers and show, both theoretically and experimentally, that this may be beneficial for cooperation in a team investment game, compared with uncoordinated punishment.
Calabuig, V., Jiménez, N., Olcina, G., & Rodriguez-Lara, I. (2022). United we stand: On the benefits of coordinated punishment. ESI Working Paper 22-12. https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/373/