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Ostracism in work teams: a public good experiment


  • David Masclet

    (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


This paper provides an experimental examination of the effects of ostracism on cooperation. Ostracism is one of the most radical forms of peer pressure. More generally, ostracism is the exclusion of disapproved individuals from interaction with a social group. By performing a laboratory experiment involving a public good game with exclusion, the paper provides empirical evidence that threats of exclusion increase contributions. The results show that subjects exclude their peers for two reasons. Subjects are willing to punish unfair behaviors (non-strategic reason) and expect changes in behavior in response to exclusions (strategic reason).

Suggested Citation

  • David Masclet, 2003. "Ostracism in work teams: a public good experiment," Post-Print halshs-00070912, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00070912
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Abhijit Ramalingam & Brock V. Stoddard & James M. Walker, 2016. "The market for talent: Competition for resources and self governane in teams," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-15, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Alice Solda & Marie Claire Villeval, 2017. "Exclusion and Reintegration in a Social Dilemma," Working Papers 1720, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. Maier-Rigaud, Frank P. & Martinsson, Peter & Staffiero, Gianandrea, 2010. "Ostracism and the provision of a public good: experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 387-395, March.
    4. Dirk Engelmann & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2015. "In the long-run we are all dead: on the benefits of peer punishment in rich environments," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(3), pages 561-577, October.
    5. Alice Solda & Marie Villeval, 2017. "Exclusion and Reintegration in a Social Dilemma," Working Papers halshs-01579216, HAL.
    6. Jan T.R. Stoop & Daan P. van Soest & Jana Vyrastekova, 2013. "A tale of two carrots: the effectiveness of multiple reward stages in a common pool resource game," Chapters,in: Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 10, pages 291-318 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    Social behaviour; Working conditions; Workplace;


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