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An experiment investigating the spill-over effects of voicing outrage

Author

Listed:
  • Anastasios Koukoumelis

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, and Department of Economics, University of Verona)

Abstract

We report on an experiment designed to explore whether and how anger affects future levels of cooperation. Participants play three consecutive one-shot games. In between two identical two-person public goods games there is a mini dictator game that, depending on the treatment, either gives or does not give the recipient the opportunity to scold the dictator via a text message. We find that the recipients that receive an unfair offer contribute significantly less in the second public goods game. Yet, such contribution cuts are less frequent and notably smaller when messaging is allowed for. We conclude that although anger has a lasting negative effect on cooperation, giving voice to it helps to curtail selfishness.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasios Koukoumelis & M. Vittoria Levati, 2012. "An experiment investigating the spill-over effects of voicing outrage," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-007
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    File URL: http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_2012_007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Astrid Hopfensitz & Ernesto Reuben, 2009. "The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1534-1559, October.
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    3. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Rigotti, Luca & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Your morals might be your moods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 155-172, February.
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    5. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
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    8. Xiao, Erte & Houser, Daniel, 2009. "Avoiding the sharp tongue: Anticipated written messages promote fair economic exchange," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 393-404, June.
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    11. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
    12. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2005. "Emotion expression in human punishment behavior," Experimental 0504003, EconWPA, revised 18 May 2005.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator minigame; Public goods game; Emotions; Cooperation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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