When the strong punish: Why net costs of punishment are often negligible

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):43-44 (2012)
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Abstract

In small-scale societies, punishment of adults is infrequent and employed when the anticipated cost-to-benefit ratio is low, such as when punishment is collectively justified and administered. In addition, benefits may exceed costs when punishers have relatively greater physical and social capital and gain more from cooperation. We provide examples from the Tsimane horticulturalists of Bolivia to support our claims

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