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Emotion venting and punishment in public good experiments

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  • Dickinson, David L.
  • Masclet, David

Abstract

Experimental studies have shown that sanctions effectively deter free riding within groups. However, the over-use of costly punishment may actually harm overall welfare. A main reason for over-punishment is that free-riders generate negative emotions that likely favor excessive punishments. In this paper we ask whether the venting of one's emotions in different ways can reduce the level of excessive punishment in a standard VCM-with-punishment environment while preserving the norm enforcement properties of punishment. We find that venting emotions reduces (excessive) punishment, and under certain conditions the net effect is an increase in final payoffs (i.e., welfare) to the group.

Suggested Citation

  • Dickinson, David L. & Masclet, David, 2015. "Emotion venting and punishment in public good experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 55-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:122:y:2015:i:c:p:55-67
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.10.008
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    3. Simon Bartke & Steven J. Bosworth & Dennis J. Snower & Gabriele Chierchia, 2019. "Motives and comprehension in a public goods game with induced emotions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 205-238, March.
    4. Bault, Nadège & Fahrenfort, Johannes J. & Pelloux, Benjamin & Ridderinkhof, K. Richard & van Winden, Frans, 2017. "An affective social tie mechanism: Theory, evidence, and implications," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 152-175.
    5. Friedel Bolle & Jonathan H. W. Tan, 2021. "Behavioral types of the dark side: identifying heterogeneous conflict strategies," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 49-63, September.
    6. Brice Corgnet & Camille Cornand & Nobuyuki Hanaki, 2021. "Risk-Taking and Tail Events Across Trading Institutions," Working Papers hal-03468913, HAL.
    7. Elina Khachatryan & Christoph Buehren, 2020. "Letting off Steam! Experimental Evidence on Inappropriate Punishment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202039, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    8. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Friehe, Tim & Wohlschlegel, Ansgar, 2019. "On the role of emotions in experimental litigation contests," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 90-94.
    9. Drouvelis, Michalis & Grosskopf, Brit, 2016. "The effects of induced emotions on pro-social behaviour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 1-8.
    10. Stefania Bortolotti & Felix Kölle & Lukas Wenner, 2021. "On the Persistence of Dishonesty," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 111, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    11. Laura K. Gee & Xinxin Lyu & Heather Urry, 2017. "Anger Management: Aggression and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Games, MDPI, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, January.
    12. Changkuk Im & Jinkwon Lee, 2021. "On the Fragility of Third-party Punishment: The Context Effect of a Dominated Risky Investment Option," Papers 2102.05876, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2021.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sanctions; Public good; Experiment; Venting emotions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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