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Black Sheep and Walls of Silence

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  • Muehlheusser, Gerd
  • Roider, Andreas

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the frequently observed phenomenon that (i) some members of a team ('black sheep') exhibit behaviour disliked by other (honest) team members, who (ii) nevertheless refrain from reporting such misbehaviour to the authorities (they set up a 'wall of silence'). Much cited examples include hospitals and police departments. In this paper, these features arise in equilibrium. An important ingredient of our model are benefits that agents receive when cooperating with each other in a team. Our results suggest that teams in which the importance of these benefits varies across team members are especially prone to the above mentioned phenomenon.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5308.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5308

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Keywords: asymmetric information; misbehaviour; teams; wall of silence;

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  1. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jeong-Yoo Kim & Keunkwan Ryu, 2003. "Yes-Men and No-Men: Does Defiance Signal Talent?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(3), pages 468-, September.
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  5. Jean-Pierre Benoit & Juan Dubra, 2004. "Why Do Good Cops Defend Bad Cops?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 787-809, 08.
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  8. Huck, Steffen & Kübler, Dorothea & Weibull, Jörgen, 2001. "Social Norms and Optimal Incentives in Firms," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 565, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2000. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  15. Dhammika Dharmapala & Thomas J. Miceli, 2012. "Search, Seizure and (False?) Arrest: An Analysis of Fourth Amendment Remedies when Police can Plant Evidence," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2012-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  16. repec:rus:hseeco:71401 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
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  20. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 1991. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Dhammika Dharmapala & Thomas J. Miceli, 2012. "Search, Seizure and (False?) Arrest: An Analysis of Fourth Amendment Remedies when Police can Plant Evidence," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2012-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Mehmet Bac, 2009. "An economic rationale for firing whistleblowers," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 233-256, June.

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