Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Coevolution of Behavior and Normative Expectations. Customary Law in the Lab

Contents:

Author Info

  • Christoph Engel

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Michael Kurschilgen

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

Customary law has been criticized from very different angles. Rational choice theorists claim that what looks like custom is nothing but self-interest. Positivists doubt that anything beyond consent assumes the force of law. In this paper, we adopt an experimental approach to test these claims. We show that the willingness to overcome a dilemma transcends self-interest. Cooperation is significantly higher in the presence of a meta-rule for the formation of customary law. Yet only if it is backed up by sanctions, law is significantly more effective than mere comity. Customary law guides behaviour into the normatively desired direction as normative expectations and behavioural patterns coevolve.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2011_32online.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2011_32.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_32

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10 - D- 53113 Bonn
Phone: +49-(0)228 / 91416-0
Fax: +49-(0)228 / 91416-55
Email:
Web page: http://www.coll.mpg.de/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: experiment; Public Good; Customary Law; Normativity; Crowding Outs;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Bohnet, Iris & Cooter, Robert, 2003. "Expressive Law: Framing or Equilibrium Selection?," Working Paper Series rwp03-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
  5. Christoph Engel, 2009. "Erga Omnes: Why does Public International Law Ignore Privity of Contract. Comment," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 24-28, March.
  6. Nikos Nikiforakis & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "A comparative statics analysis of punishment in public-good experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 358-369, December.
  7. Bernasconi, Michele & Corazzini, Luca & Marenzi, Anna, 2013. "‘Expressive’ obligations in public good games: Crowding-in and crowding-out effects," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 13-24.
  8. Galbiati, R. & Vertova, P., 2005. "Law and Behaviours in Social Dilemmas: Testing the Effect of Obligations on Cooperation," Discussion Paper 2005-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Georg Borges & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2007. "Fairness Crowded Out by Law: An Experimental Study on Withdrawal Rights," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 84-101, March.
  10. Karine Nyborg & Mari Rege, 2001. "Does Public Policy Crowd Out Private Contributions to Public Goods?," Discussion Papers 300, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  11. Janssen, Maarten C. W. & Mendys-Kamphorst, Ewa, 2004. "The price of a price: on the crowding out and in of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 377-395, November.
  12. George Loewenstein & Don A. Moore, 2004. "When Ignorance Is Bliss: Information Exchange and Inefficiency in Bargaining," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 37-58, 01.
  13. Rosenthal, Robert W., 1981. "Games of perfect information, predatory pricing and the chain-store paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 92-100, August.
  14. Bolton, G. & Katok, E., 1995. "An Experimental Test of the Crowding Out Hypothesis: The Nature of Beneficient Behavior," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 295.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  15. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2005. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-Deterrent," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  16. Amos Tversky & Itamar Simonson, 1993. "Context-Dependent Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1179-1189, October.
  17. Patricia Funk, 2007. "Is There An Expressive Function of Law? An Empirical Analysis of Voting Laws with Symbolic Fines," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 135-159.
  18. Kenneth S. Chan & Robert Godby & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Crowding Out Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-01, McMaster University.
  19. Engel, Christoph, 2008. "Learning the law," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 275-297, December.
  20. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
  21. Croson, Rachel & Johnston, Jason Scott, 2000. "Experimental Results on Bargaining Under Alternative Property Rights Regimes," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 50-73, April.
  22. Jennifer Zelmer, 2003. "Linear Public Goods Experiments: A Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 299-310, November.
  23. Arlen, Jennifer & Spitzer, Matthew & Talley, Eric, 2002. "Endowment Effects within Corporate Agency Relationships," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-37, January.
  24. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  25. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  26. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J. & Johnston, Rachel M., 2005. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1543-1560, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marc Martin).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.