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Sanctions that Signal: an Experiment


  • Roberto Galbiatiy
  • Karl Schlagz
  • Joel van der Weele


The introduction of sanctions provides incentives for more pro-social behavior, but may also be a signal that non-cooperation is prevalent. In an experimental minimum-effort coordination game we investigate the effects of the information contained in the choice to sanction. We compare the effect of sanctions that are introduced exogenously by the experimenter to that of sanctions which have been actively chosen by a subject who has superior information about the previous effort of the other players. We find that cooperative subjects perceive actively chosen sanctions as a negative signal which significantly reduces the effect of sanctions.
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  • Roberto Galbiatiy & Karl Schlagz & Joel van der Weele, 2010. "Sanctions that Signal: an Experiment," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001104, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:661465000000001104

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karl H. Schlag & Joël J. van der Weele, 2015. "A method to elicit beliefs as most likely intervals," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 10(5), pages 456-468, September.
    2. Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2014. "How laws affect behavior: Obligations, incentives and cooperative behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 48-57.
    3. Danilov, Anastasia & Sliwka, Dirk, 2013. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Laws and Norms," NBER Working Papers 17579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    6. Michał Krawczyk & Joanna Tyrowicz & Anna Kukla-Gryz & Wojciech Hardy, 2015. "Do pirates play fair? Ethical judgment of unauthorized sports broadcasts," Working Papers 2015-15, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    7. Gary E. Bolton & Christoph Feldhaus & Axel Ockenfels, 2016. "Social Interaction Promotes Risk Taking in a Stag Hunt Game," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(3), pages 409-423, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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