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Altruistic Norm Enforcement and Decision-Making Format in a Dilemma: Experimental Evidence

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  • Kamei, Kenju

Abstract

Past research has shown that people often take punitive actions towards norm violators even when they are not directly involved in transactions. However, it at the same time suggests that such third-party punishment may not be strong enough to enforce cooperation norms in dilemma situations. This paper experimentally compares the effectiveness of third-party punishment between different enforcement formats. Consistent with past studies, our data shows that having an individual third-party punisher in a group does not make one’s defection materially unbeneficial because of the weak punishment intensity. It also shows that third-party punishment is not effective when two individuals form a pair as a punisher and jointly decide how strong third-party punishment they impose. However, third-party punishment can be sufficiently strong to enforce cooperation norms when a third-party punisher’s action choice is made known to another individual third-party punisher in a different group, or when there are two independent individual third-party players in a group.

Suggested Citation

  • Kamei, Kenju, 2017. "Altruistic Norm Enforcement and Decision-Making Format in a Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 76641, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:76641
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/76641/1/MPRA_paper_76641.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-16-00720 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kenju Kamei, 2017. "Conditional Punishment in England," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(2), pages 837-845.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experiment; cooperation; dilemma; third-party punishment; social norms;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D79 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Other
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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