Pablo Brañas is Professor of Behavioural Economics at Universidad Loyola since April 2018. Previously, he was Professor of Behavioural Economics at Middlesex University London (2012-2018) and Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Granada (2009-2012). He is Associate Editor of Journal of Behavioral & Experimental Economics and PLoS ONE, member of the ESRC Peer Review College. He was President of The Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (2016-18) and PI of the ESRC-London Experimental Workshop (2014-016).
Cooperation among several partners is complicated. It is even more cumbersome when the number of participants rise or the contribution of every member is unclear. The free-rider problem reflects precisely that some participants take advantage of the lack of transparency and finally cooperation goes down. However, the use of punishment (to free-riders) and rewards (to cooperators) can substantially change the picture.
We will see several studies that show that, in presence of punishment and rewards, cooperation can persist even among strangers and in large groups. Yet, this is not the case under all conditions.