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Black Sheep and Walls of Silence

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  • Gerd Muehlheusser
  • Andreas Roider

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the frequently observed phenomenon that (i) some members of a team ("black sheep") 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 silence"). 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 Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0410.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0410

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

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  1. John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "The Impact of Race on Policing, Arrest Patterns, and Crime," NBER Working Papers 6784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  4. Kübler, Dorothea, 2000. "On the regulation of social norms," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,38, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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  6. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2000. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. repec:rus:hseeco:71401 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Dhammika Dharmapala & Thomas J. Miceli, 2012. "Search, Seizure and (False?) Arrest: An Analysis of Fourth Amendment Remedies when Police can Plant Evidence," Working papers 2012-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  9. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 1999. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Battaglini, Marco & Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Self-control in peer groups," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 105-134, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Jean-Pierre Benoit & Juan Dubra, 2004. "Why Do Good Cops Defend Bad Cops?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 787-809, 08.
  15. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 1994. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1994. "Marginal Deterrence in Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1039-66, October.
  17. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Dhammika Dharmapala & Thomas J. Miceli, 2012. "Search, Seizure and (False?) Arrest: An Analysis of Fourth Amendment Remedies when Police can Plant Evidence," Working papers 2012-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Mehmet Bac, 2009. "An economic rationale for firing whistleblowers," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 233-256, June.

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