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Normative Conflict & Feuds: The Limits of Self-Enforcement

Author

Listed:
  • Nikos Nikiforakis
  • Charles N. Noussair
  • Tom Wilkening

Abstract

A normative conflict arises when there exist multiple plausible norms of behavior. In such cases, norm enforcement can lead to a sequence of mutual retaliatory sanctions, which we refer to as a feud. We investigate the hypothesis that normative conflict enhances the likelihood of a feud in a public-good experiment. We find that punishment is much more likely to trigger counter-punishment and start a feud when there is a normative conflict, than in a setting in which no conflict exists. While the possibility of a feud sustains cooperation,the cost of feuding fully offsets the efficiency gains from increased cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikos Nikiforakis & Charles N. Noussair & Tom Wilkening, 2011. "Normative Conflict & Feuds: The Limits of Self-Enforcement," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1120, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1120
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    File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/784256/1120.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Tore Ellingsen & Benedikt Herrmann & Martin A. Nowak & David G. Rand & Corina E. Tarnita, 2012. "Civic Capital in Two Cultures: The Nature of Cooperation in Romania and USA," CESifo Working Paper Series 4042, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Solda, Alice & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Exclusion and Reintegration in a Social Dilemma," IZA Discussion Papers 11227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Ulrike Vollstädt, 2011. "Power Asymmetry and Escalation in Bargaining," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-054, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Kenju Kamei & Louis Putterman, 2012. "In Broad Daylight: Full Information and Higher-order Punishment Opportunities Promote Cooperation," Working Papers 2012-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    normative conflict; peer punishment; feuds; counter-punishment; social norms;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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