IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v113y2014icp32-42.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Distinguishing the role of authority “in” and authority “to”

Author

Listed:
  • Silverman, Dan
  • Slemrod, Joel
  • Uler, Neslihan

Abstract

Authority, and the behavioral response to authority, is central to many important questions in public economics, but has received insufficient attention from economists. In particular, research has not differentiated between legitimate power and the presumption of expert knowledge, what we call authority “to” and authority “in.” In this paper we report on the results of a series of lab experiments designed to distinguish the effects of the two sources of authority on contributions to a public project. The results suggest that authority “to” and authority “in” interact in ways not heretofore understood. Penalizing non-social behavior without expert explanation does not increase voluntary contributions, nor does expert explanation without the threat of penalty, but together they induce more contributions than any other combination of policies. We interpret these findings to indicate that the reaction to an authority depends on whether that authority is perceived to be legitimate.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:113:y:2014:i:c:p:32-42
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.02.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272714000486
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    3. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    5. Schotter, Andrew & Sopher, Barry, 2007. "Advice and behavior in intergenerational ultimatum games: An experimental approach," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 365-393, February.
    6. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
    7. Jean‐Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2006. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non‐deterrent," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 135-156, March.
    8. Ernst Fehr & Holger Herz & Tom Wilkening, 2013. "The Lure of Authority: Motivation and Incentive Effects of Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1325-1359, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Sebastian Kube & Christian Traxler, 2011. "The Interaction of Legal and Social Norm Enforcement," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 639-660, October.
    11. Andreoni, James & Rao, Justin M., 2011. "The power of asking: How communication affects selfishness, empathy, and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 513-520.
    12. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-556, March.
    13. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Laws and Norms," NBER Working Papers 17579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Matthew Martin, 2007. "A literature review on the effectiveness of financial education," Working Paper 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, revised 2007.
    15. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
    16. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 615-691, Elsevier.
    17. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," CESifo Working Paper Series 322, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Laury, Susan K. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, in: Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 84, pages 792-801, Elsevier.
    19. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    20. Ananish Chaudhuri & Tirnud Paichayontvijit, 2010. "Recommended play and performance bonuses in the minimum effort coordination game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(3), pages 346-363, September.
    21. 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.
    22. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2008. "Obligations and cooperative behaviour in public good games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 146-170, September.
    24. S. Bowles & S. Polania-Reyes., 2013. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: Substitutes or Complements?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    25. Alm, James & Jacobson, Sarah, 2007. "Using Laboratory Experimentsin Public Economics," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(1), pages 129-152, March.
    26. Andrew Schotter & Barry Sopher, 2003. "Social Learning and Coordination Conventions in Intergenerational Games: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 498-529, June.
    27. Torgler, Benno, 2002. " Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-683, December.
    28. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-1053, July.
    29. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
    30. Michael Kosfeld & Armin Falk, 2006. "The Hidden Costs of Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1611-1630, December.
    31. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Axel Sonntag & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "Institutional authority and collusion," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 13-37, July.
    2. Björn Vollan & Karla Henning & Deniza Staewa, 2017. "Do campaigns featuring impact evaluations increase donations? Evidence from a survey experiment," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 500-518, October.
    3. Silva,Joana C. G. & Morgandi,Matteo & Levin,Victoria, 2016. "Trust in government and support for redistribution," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7675, The World Bank.
    4. Pelligra, Vittorio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2016. "Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests," IZA Discussion Papers 10189, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Périlleux, Anaïs & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Women Leaders and Social Performance: Evidence from Financial Cooperatives in Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 437-452.
    6. Luke Condra & Mohammad Isaqzadeh & Sera Linardi, 2015. "Selecting (In) and Crowding Out: Experimental Evidence of the Power of Religious Authority in Afghanistan," Framed Field Experiments 00398, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. Holger Herz & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2018. "What Makes a Price Fair? An Experimental Study of Transaction Experience and Endogenous Fairness Views," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 316-352.
    8. Holger Herz & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2016. "What Makes a Price Fair? An Experimental Analysis of Transaction Experience and Endogenous Fairness Views," NBER Working Papers 22728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Wagner, Alexander K. & Granic, Dura-Georg, 2017. "Tie-Breaking Power in Committees," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168187, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Karakostas, Alexandros & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2016. "Compliance and the power of authority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 67-80.
    11. Roman M. Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2016. "The Impact of Taxes and Wasteful Government Spending on Giving," Working Papers 16-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    12. Blaufus, Kay & Hundsdoerfer, Jochen & Jacob, Martin & Sünwoldt, Matthias, 2016. "Does legality matter? The case of tax avoidance and evasion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 182-206.
    13. Périlleux, Anaïs & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Women Leaders and Social Performance: Evidence from Financial Cooperatives in Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 437-452.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Authority; Power of suggestion;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:113:y:2014:i:c:p:32-42. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.