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Black Sheep and Walls of Silence

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  • Mühlheusser, Gerd
  • Roider, Andreas

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the frequently observed phenomenon that (i) some members of a team (“black sheepâ€) exhibit behavior disliked by other (honest) team members, who (ii) nevertheless refrain from reporting such misbehavior to the authorities (they set up a “wall of silenceâ€). Much cited examples include hospitals and police departments. In this paper, these features arise in equilibrium. An important ingredient of our model are benefits that agents receive when cooperating with each other in a team. Our results suggest that teams in which the importance of these benefits varies across team members are especially prone to the above mentioned phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 56.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:56

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Keywords: teams; misbehavior; wall of silence; asymmetric information;

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References

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  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why is There More Crime in Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Dhammika Dharmapala & Thomas J. Miceli, 2003. "Search, Seizure and (False?) Arrest: An Analysis of Fourth Amendment Remedies when Police can Plant Evidence," Working papers 2003-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  15. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
  16. Eberhard Feess & Markus Walzl, 2004. "Self-reporting in Optimal Law Enforcement when there are Criminal Teams," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(283), pages 333-348, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Mehmet Bac, 2009. "An economic rationale for firing whistleblowers," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 233-256, June.
  2. Dhammika Dharmapala & Thomas J. Miceli, 2003. "Search, Seizure and (False?) Arrest: An Analysis of Fourth Amendment Remedies when Police can Plant Evidence," Working papers 2003-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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