Social Identity and Punishment
AbstractThird party punishment is crucial for sustaining cooperative behavior. Still, little is known about its determinants. In this paper we use laboratory experiments to investigate a long-conjectured interaction between group identification and bystanders' punishment preferences using a novel measure of these preferences. We induce minimal groups and give a bystander the opportunity to punish the perpetrator of an unfair act against a defenseless victim. We elicit the bystander's valuation for punishment in four cases - when the perpetrator, the victim, both or neither are members of the bystander's group. We generate testable predictions about the rank order of punishment valuations from a simple framework incorporating group-contingent preferences for justice which are largely confirmed. Finally, we conduct control sessions where groups are not induced. Comparing punishment across treatment and control suggests that third-party punishers tend to treat others as in-group members unless otherwise divided.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1316.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: May 2013
Other versions of this item:
- Butler, Je rey V. & Conzo, Pierluigi & Leroch, Martin A., 2013. "Social Identity and Punishment," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers, University of Turin 201329, University of Turin.
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-06-09 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2013-06-09 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-06-09 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2013-06-09 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-POL-2013-06-09 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2013-06-09 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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