Issue Linkage

How do states punish those who do not produce public goods?

Takeaway Points

  1. The repeated prisoner’s dilemma tells us that states can maintain cooperation through the threat of grim trigger strategies.
  2. The non-excludable nature of public goods makes it difficult to directly punish free riders.
  3. Free riding as punishment for others free riding is an ineffective countermeasure, as a single bad apple can spoil the bunch.
  4. Issue linkage—tying other areas of cooperation to public goods provision—resolves the problem.