Social Identity and Punishment
Third party punishment is crucial for sustaining cooperative behavior. Still, little is known about its determinants. In this paper we use laboratory experiments to investigate a long-conjectured interaction between group identification and bystanders' punishment preferences using a novel measure of these preferences. We induce minimal groups and give a bystander the opportunity to punish the perpetrator of an unfair act against a defenseless victim. We elicit the bystander's valuation for punishment in four cases - when the perpetrator, the victim, both or neither are members of the bystander's group. We generate testable predictions about the rank order of punishment valuations from a simple framework incorporating group-contingent preferences for justice which are largely confirmed. Finally, we conduct control sessions where groups are not induced. Comparing punishment across treatment and control suggests that third-party punishers tend to treat others as in-group members unless otherwise divided.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:||May 2013|
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- Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006.
"The impact of group membership on cooperation and norm enforcement: evidence using random assignment to real social groups,"
06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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- Lewisch Peter G. & Ottone Stefania & Ponzano Ferruccio, 2011.
"Free-Riding on Altruistic Punishment? An Experimental Comparison of Third-Party Punishment in a Stand-Alone and in an In-Group Environment,"
Review of Law & Economics,
De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 161-190, June.
- Lewisch Peter & Ottone, Stefania & Ponzano, Ferruccio, 2010. "Free-riding on altruistic punishment? An experimental comparison of third-party-punishment in a stand-alone and in an in-group environment," POLIS Working Papers 139, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
- Roy Chen & Yan Chen, 2011. "The Potential of Social Identity for Equilibrium Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2562-89, October.
- Hugh Jones, David; Leroch, Martin A, 2011. "Reciprocity towards Groups," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 52, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
- Guala, Francesco & Mittone, Luigi & Ploner, Matteo, 2013. "Group membership, team preferences, and expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 183-190.
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