IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Compliance and the power of authority

Listed author(s):
  • Karakostas, Alexandros
  • Zizzo, Daniel John

Compliance to authority is an integral part of how organizations operate. We use an experiment to show that compliance to a cue by an authority is a powerful motivating mechanism. We do this in an experiment where there are direct orders or indirect cues to destroy half of another participant's earnings at a cost to one's own earnings. Depending on the experimental treatment, up to around 60–70% of participants decide to comply with the orders or cues being provided.

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.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268115002590
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 124 (2016)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 67-80

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:124:y:2016:i:c:p:67-80
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.09.016
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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. Guth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Sutter, Matthias & van der Heijden, Eline, 2007. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1023-1042, June.
  2. John Bone & Michalis Drouvelis & Indrajit Ray, 2012. "Following Recommendations to Avoid Coordination-Failure in 2 x 2 Games," Discussion Papers 12-04, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
  4. Jordi Brandts & David Cooper & Enrique Fatas, 2007. "Leadership and overcoming coordination failure with asymmetric costs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(3), pages 269-284, September.
  5. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  6. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
  7. Klaus Abbink & Benedikt Herrmann, 2011. "The Moral Costs Of Nastiness," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 631-633, 04.
  8. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
  10. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782.
  11. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2010. "Intergroup Conflict and Intra-group Punishment in an Experimental Contest Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 420-447, March.
  12. Timothy Cason & Tridib Sharma, 2007. "Recommended play and correlated equilibria: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 11-27, October.
  13. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, 07.
  15. Axel Sonntag & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "Institutional authority and collusion," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 13-37, July.
  16. Alexandros Karakostas & Axel Sonntag & Daniel John Zizzo, 2013. "Efficiency and Fairness in Revenue Sharing Contracts," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 13-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  17. Christian Thoeni & Simon Gaechter, 2011. "Peer Effects and Social Preferences in Voluntary Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2011-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  18. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  19. Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus M Schmidt, 2007. "Fairness and Contract Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 121-154, 01.
  20. Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Marina Schröder, 2012. "The Desire to Influence Others," FEMM Working Papers 120027, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  21. Bougheas, Spiros & Nieboer, Jeroen & Sefton, Martin, 2013. "Risk-taking in social settings: Group and peer effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 273-283.
  22. C. Cadsby & Elizabeth Maynes & Viswanath Trivedi, 2006. "Tax compliance and obedience to authority at home and in the lab: A new experimental approach," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(4), pages 343-359, December.
  23. Abbink, Klaus & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2009. "The pleasure of being nasty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 306-308, December.
  24. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, 09.
  25. Laurent Denant-Boemont & David Masclet & Charles Noussair, 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 145-167, October.
  26. Piers Fleming & Daniel Zizzo, 2015. "A simple stress test of experimenter demand effects," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(2), pages 219-231, February.
  27. Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2013. "Peer Effects In Pro-Social Behavior: Social Norms Or Social Preferences?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 548-573, 06.
  28. Krupka, Erin & Weber, Roberto A., 2009. "The focusing and informational effects of norms on pro-social behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 307-320, June.
  29. Zafar, Basit, 2011. "An experimental investigation of why individuals conform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 774-798, August.
  30. Robin, Stéphane R. & Rusinowska, Agnieszka & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2012. "Ingratiation and Favoritism: Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6530, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:03 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Daiji Kawaguchi, 2004. "Peer effects on substance use among American teenagers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 351-367, 06.
  33. Vital Anderhub & Simon Gächter & Manfred Königstein, 2002. "Efficient Contracting and Fair Play in a Simple Principal-Agent Experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27, June.
  34. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
  35. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
  36. Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2008. "The appearance of homo rivalis: Social preferences and the nature of rent seeking," Discussion Papers 2008-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  37. Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
  38. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
  39. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  40. Zizzo, Daniel John & Fleming, Piers, 2011. "Can experimental measures of sensitivity to social pressure predict public good contribution?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 239-242, June.
  41. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
  42. Erling Moxnes & Eline van der Heijden, 2003. "The Effect of Leadership in a Public Bad Experiment," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 47(6), pages 773-795, December.
  43. Arthur J. Robson, 2001. "The Biological Basis of Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 11-33, March.
  44. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  45. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
  46. López-Pérez, Raúl, 2008. "Aversion to norm-breaking: A model," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 237-267, September.
  47. Wärneryd, Karl, 2012. "The evolution of preferences for conflict," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 102-104.
  48. Klaus Abbink & Benedikt Herrmann, 2009. "Pointless vendettas," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-10, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  49. Timothy N. Cason & Vai-Lam Mui, 1998. "Social Influence in the Sequential Dictator Game," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-37, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  50. Nikos Nikiforakis & Dirk Engelmann, 2008. "Feuds in the Laboratory? A Social Dilemma Experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1058, The University of Melbourne.
  51. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-1028, September.
  52. Simon, Herbert A, 1979. "Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 493-513, September.
  53. Werner Güth & Manfred Königstein & Judit Kovács & Enikõ Zala-Mezõ, 2001. "Fairness Within Firms: The Case Of One Principal And Multiple Agents," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 53(2), pages 82-101, April.
  54. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  55. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2003. "Money burning and rank egalitarianism with random dictators," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 263-266, November.
  56. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
  57. Daniel J. Zizzo & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Others'Incomes?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 63-64, pages 39-65.
  58. Silverman, Dan & Slemrod, Joel & Uler, Neslihan, 2014. "Distinguishing the role of authority “in” and authority “to”," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 32-42.
  59. Croson, Rachel & Marks, Melanie, 2001. "The Effect of Recommended Contributions in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 238-249, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:124:y:2016:i:c:p:67-80. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.