Why do People Punish the Rule Breakers?: The Sustainability of Social Norms
AbstractThis paper attempts to provide reasons for sustainability of social norms by considering internalization as the basic motivation behind the punishment behavior. A society requires people to implant the social norms in others, and punishing the rule breaker provides a person utility by letting him feel good through fulfilling his responsibility. The responsibility increases with closeness of relationship, therefore relatives and friends tend to punish the rule breaker harder. The breaking of a norm also acts as a 'bad name' for rule breaker's relatives and friends, which, further, prompts them to punish him. Since, punishing the rule breaker also benefits non-punishers, some people may start selling the punishment activity, if the benefited people, due to their internalization of the norm, pay punishers in the form of money, support etc.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21691.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
social norms; internalization; bad name; power asymmetry;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-04-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-04-04 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2010-04-04 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2010-04-04 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2010-04-04 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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.:
- Basu, Kaushik, 2003.
"Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics,"
OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press,
Oxford University Press, number 9780199261857, October.
- Basu, Kaushik, 2000. "Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296713, October.
- Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
- Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
- Elster, Jon, 1996. "Rationality and the Emotions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1386-97, September.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna & Rand, David G. & Nowak, Martin, 2008. "Winners Don't Punish," Scholarly Articles 2252594, Harvard University Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.