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The Interaction of Legal and Social Norm Enforcement

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  • Sebastian Kube
  • Christian Traxler

Abstract

Although legal sanctions are often non-deterrent, we frequently observe compliance with ‘mild laws’. A possible explanation is that the incentives to comply are shaped not only by legal, but also by social sanctions. This paper employs a novel experimental approach to study the link between legal and social norm enforcement. We analyze whether the two institutions are complements or substitutes. Our results show that legal sanctions partially crowd out social norm enforcement. The welfare effect from mild laws is positive, however, as a higher level of compliance is achieved at lower enforcement costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Kube & Christian Traxler, 2010. "The Interaction of Legal and Social Norm Enforcement," CESifo Working Paper Series 3091, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3091
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social sanctions; legal sanctions; norm enforcement; mild laws; laboratory experiment; VCM; public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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