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Norm Enforcement: Anger, Indignation or Reciprocity?

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  • Carpenter, Jeffrey P.

    ()
    (Middlebury College)

  • Matthews, Peter Hans

    ()
    (Middlebury College)

Abstract

The enforcement of social norms often requires that unaffected third parties sanction offenders. Given the renewed interest of economists in norms, the literature on third party punishment is surprisingly thin, however. In this paper, we report on the results of an experiment designed to evaluate two distinct explanations for this phenomenon, indignation and group reciprocity. We find evidence in favor of both, with the caveat that the incidence of indignation-driven sanctions is perhaps smaller than earlier studies have hinted. Furthermore, our results suggest that second parties use sanctions to promote conformism while third parties intervene primarily to promote efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1583.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2012, 10 (3), 555-572
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1583

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Keywords: voluntary contribution mechanism; norm; third party punishment; reciprocity; experiment; indignation;

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References

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  1. Masclet, D. & Noussair, C. & Tucker, S. & Villeval, M.C., 2001. "Monetary and Non-monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1141, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews & Okomboli Ong'ong'a, 2003. "Why Punish: Social Reciprocity and the Enforcement of Prosocial Norms," Middlebury College Working Paper Series, Middlebury College, Department of Economics 0213r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  3. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "The nature of human altruism," Experimental, EconWPA 0402003, EconWPA.
  6. Jeffrey Carpenter & Amrita Daniere & Lois Takahashi, 2003. "Cooperation, Trust, and Social Capital in Southeast Asian Urban Slums," Middlebury College Working Paper Series, Middlebury College, Department of Economics 0309, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers, Brown University, Department of Economics 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2004. "Social Reciprocity," IZA Discussion Papers 1347, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Manski, Charles F., 2002. "Identification of decision rules in experiments on simple games of proposal and response," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 880-891, May.
  12. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  13. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Third Party Punishment and Social Norms," IEW - Working Papers, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich 106, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
  15. Daniel Houser & Robert Kurzban, 2002. "Revisiting Kindness and Confusion in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1062-1069, September.
  16. Turillo, Carmelo Joseph & Folger, Robert & Lavelle, James J. & Umphress, Elizabeth E. & Gee, Julie O., 2002. "Is virtue its own reward? Self-sacrificial decisions for the sake of fairness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 839-865, September.
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