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The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment

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  • Astrid Hopfensitz

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, University of Amsterdam)

  • Ernesto Reuben

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper experimentally explores how the enforcement of cooperative behavior in a social dilemma is facilitated through institutional as well as emotional mechanisms. Recent studies emphasize the importance of negatively valued emotions, such as anger, which motivate individuals to punish free riders. However, these types of emotions also trigger retaliatory behavior by the punished individuals. This makes the enforcement of a cooperative norm more costly. We show that in addition to anger, ‘social’ emotions like shame and guilt need to be present for punishment to be an effective deterrent of uncooperative actions. They play a key role by subduing the desire of punished individuals to retaliate and by motivating them to behave more cooperatively in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 05-075/1.

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Date of creation: 02 Aug 2005
Date of revision: 28 Mar 2006
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20050075

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: Emotions; Punishment; Retaliation; Counter punishment; Social Norms; Fairness; Cooperation;

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References

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  1. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
  2. Ernesto Reuben & Frans van Winden, 2004. "Reciprocity and Emotions when Reciprocators know each other," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-098/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
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  8. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2004. "Punishment and Counter-punishment in Public Goods Games: Can we still govern ourselves?," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/05, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Apr 2004.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  10. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2004. "On Perverse and Second-Order Punishment in Public Goods Experiments with Decentralized Sanctioning," Working Papers 2004-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Gershon Ben-Shakhar & Gary Bornstein & Astrid Hopfensitz & Frans van Winden, 2004. "Reciprocity and Emotions: Arousal, Self-Reports, and Expectations," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-099/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  13. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Martijn Egas & Arno Riedl, 2005. "The Economics of Altruistic Punishment and the Demise of Cooperation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-065/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  15. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  16. Noussair, C.N. & Tucker, S., 2005. "Combining monetary and social sanctions to promote cooperation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377935, Tilburg University.
  17. Ernst Fehr & Bettina Rockenbach, 2003. "Detrimental effects of sanctions on human altruism," Microeconomics 0305007, EconWPA.
  18. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
  19. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  20. Ronald Bosman & Frans van Winden, 2002. "Emotional Hazard in a Power-to-take Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 147-169, January.
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