AbstractInequality aversion is a key motive for punishment, with many prominent studies suggesting people use punishment to reduce or eliminate inequality. Punishment in laboratory games, however, is nearly always designed to promote equality (e.g., rejections in standard ultimatum games) and the marginal cost of punishment is typically non-trivially positive. As a consequence, individual preferences over punishment outcomes remain largely uninformed. We here report data from a laboratory experiment using dictator games. We find that when people are treated unfairly they systematically prefer to use punishment to create advantageous inequality. Our results shed new light on human preferences over punishment outcomes, and have important implications for the design of mechanisms to deter misconduct.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1009.
Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-08-08 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2009-08-08 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2009-08-08 (Game Theory)
- NEP-MIC-2009-08-08 (Microeconomics)
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