Normative Conflict & Feuds: The Limits of Self-Enforcement
AbstractA normative conflict arises when there exist multiple plausible norms of behavior. In such cases, norm enforcement can lead to a sequence of mutual retaliatory sanctions, which we refer to as a feud. We investigate the hypothesis that normative conflict enhances the likelihood of a feud in a public-good experiment. We find that punishment is much more likely to trigger counter-punishment and start a feud when there is a normative conflict, than in a setting in which no conflict exists. While the possibility of a feud sustains cooperation,the cost of feuding fully offsets the efficiency gains from increased cooperation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1120.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
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normative conflict; peer punishment; feuds; counter-punishment; social norms;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-04-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-04-30 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2011-04-30 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-04-30 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2011-04-30 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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- Engelmann, Dirk & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012.
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