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Inequality-seeking punishment

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  • Houser, Daniel
  • Xiao, Erte

Abstract

We report data from a laboratory experiment using dictator games to inform individual preferences over punishment outcomes. We find that many people punish after receiving disadvantageous outcomes, and those who do systematically prefer to use punishment to create self-advantageous inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte, 2010. "Inequality-seeking punishment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 20-23, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:109:y:2010:i:1:p:20-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jian Li & Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser & P. Read Montague, 2009. "Neural Responses to Sanction Threats in Two-Party Economic Exchange," Working Papers 1012, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    2. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2005. "Driving Forces Behind Informal Sanctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 2017-2030, November.
    3. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
    4. Bicchieri, Cristina & Erte, Xiao, 2007. "Do the right thing: But only if others do so," MPRA Paper 4609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    6. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    7. Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna & Rand, David G. & Nowak, Martin, 2008. "Winners Don't Punish," Scholarly Articles 2252594, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. James Cox & Klarita Sadiraj & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2008. "Implications of trust, fear, and reciprocity for modeling economic behavior," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-24, March.
    9. Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2008. "When punishment fails: Research on sanctions, intentions and non-cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 509-532, March.
    10. Xiao, Erte & Houser, Daniel, 2009. "Avoiding the sharp tongue: Anticipated written messages promote fair economic exchange," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 393-404, June.
    11. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
    12. Xiao, Erte & Houser, Daniel, 2011. "Punish in public," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 1006-1017.
    13. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 20-26, January.
    14. Xiao, Erte & Bicchieri, Cristina, 2010. "When equality trumps reciprocity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 456-470, June.
    15. Naci Mocan, 2013. "Vengeance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 969-982, July.
    16. 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.
    17. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2005. "Emotion expression in human punishment behavior," Experimental 0504003, EconWPA, revised 18 May 2005.
    18. Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri & List, John, 2008. "Equity Aversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 6853, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Thöni, 2014. "Inequality aversion and antisocial punishment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 529-545, April.
    2. Fangfang Tan & Erte Xiao, 2014. "Third-Party Punishment: Retribution or Deterrence?," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-05, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    3. repec:eee:ecolet:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:41-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kriss, Peter H. & Weber, Roberto A. & Xiao, Erte, 2016. "Turning a blind eye, but not the other cheek: On the robustness of costly punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 159-177.
    5. Kimbrough Erik O. & Reiss J. Philipp, 2012. "Measuring the Distribution of Spitefulness," Research Memorandum 040, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    6. Sebastian Prediger, 2011. "How does income inequality affect cooperation and punishment in public good settings?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201138, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    7. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:123-134 is not listed on IDEAS

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