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Social Identity and Punishment

Listed author(s):
  • Jeffrey V. Butler

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Nevada)

  • Pierluigi Conzo

    ()

    (University of Turin, Campus Luigi Einaudi and CSEF, Dept of Economics and Statistics, University of Naples Federico II)

  • Martin A. Leroch

    ()

    (Institute of Political Science, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz)

Third party (bystander) punishment is crucial for sustaining cooperative behavior. Through laboratory experiments we investigate the interaction between group identi - cation and a bystander's punishment preferences by inducing minimal groups and giving a bystander the opportunity to levy a xed amount of punishment on the perpetrator of an unfair act towards 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. For predictions, we construct three separate frameworks di ering by whether the primary e ect of group identity is to create an empathetic bond between in-group members or to a ect the weights placed on others' money earnings (distributional social preferences). The frameworks yield starkly di erent ordinal predictions about the bystander's value for punishment across two cases: i) when the perpetrator and victim are both members of the bystander's group; ii) when only the victim is an in-group member. The empathetic bond framework predicts that punishment will be more highly valued in the latter case, while the distributional preferences frameworks suggest the opposite. Our data support the predictions of the rst. Finally, we conduct control sessions where groups are not induced and nd that bystanders tend to treat others as in-group members unless speci cally divided into distinct groups.

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File URL: http://www.macro.economics.uni-mainz.de/RePEc/pdf/Discussion_Paper_1512.pdf
File Function: First version, 2015
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Paper provided by Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in its series Working Papers with number 1512.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 28 May 2015
Handle: RePEc:jgu:wpaper:1512
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  15. Fangfang Tan & Erte Xiao, 2011. "Peer Punishment with Third-Party Approval in a Social Dilemma Game," Working Papers peer_punishment_with_thir, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
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  21. 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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  23. Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2014. "Beliefs and ingroup favoritism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 453-462.
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