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Emotions, Sanctions and Cooperation

  • Joffily, Mateus

    ()

    (CNRS)

  • Masclet, David

    ()

    (University of Rennes)

  • Noussair, Charles N.

    ()

    (Tilburg University)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    ()

    (CNRS, GATE)

We use skin conductance responses and self-reports of hedonic valence to study the emotional basis of cooperation and punishment in a social dilemma. Emotional reaction to free-riding incites individuals to apply sanctions when they are available. The application of sanctions activates a "virtuous emotional circle" that accompanies cooperation. Emotionally aroused cooperators relieve negative emotions when they punish free riders. In response, the free-riders experience negative emotions when punished, and increase their subsequent level of cooperation. The outcome is an increased level of contribution that becomes the new standard or norm. For a given contribution level, individuals attain higher levels of satisfaction when sanctioning institutions are in place.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5592.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Southern Economic Journal, 2014, 80(4), 1002-1027
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5592
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  1. Ben-Shakhar, Gershon & Bornstein, Gary & Hopfensitz, Astrid & van Winden, Frans, 2007. "Reciprocity and emotions in bargaining using physiological and self-report measures," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 314-323, June.
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