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Emotion Venting and Punishment in Public Good Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • David L. Dickinson

    (Appalachian State University, CA, USA)

  • David Masclet

    (CREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France and CIRANO, Montréal, Canada)

Abstract

Experimental studies have shown that sanctions effectively deter free riding within groups. However, the over-use of costly punishment may actually harm overall welfare. A main reason for over-punishment is that free-riders generate negative emotions that likely favor excessive punishments. In this paper we ask whether the venting of one’s emotions in different ways can reduce the level of excessive punishment in a standard VCM-with-punishment environment while preserving the norm enforcement properties of punishment. We find that venting emotions reduces (excessive) punishment, and under certain conditions the net effect is an increase in final payoffs (i.e., welfare) to the group.

Suggested Citation

  • David L. Dickinson & David Masclet, 2014. "Emotion Venting and Punishment in Public Good Experiments," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201414, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201414
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    File URL: https://crem-doc.univ-rennes1.fr/wp/2014/201414.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny E. Wollbrant, 2017. "Strong, bold, and kind: self-control and cooperation in social dilemmas," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 44-69, March.
    2. Laura K. Gee & Xinxin Lyu & Heather Urry, 2017. "Anger Management: Aggression and Punishment in the Provision of Public Goods," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, January.
    3. Gerald Eisenkopf & Tim Friehe & Ansgar Wohlschlegel, 2018. "On the Role of Emotions in Experimental Litigation Contests," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2018-02, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.
    4. Drouvelis, Michalis & Grosskopf, Brit, 2016. "The effects of induced emotions on pro-social behaviour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 1-8.
    5. repec:eee:joepsy:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:152-175 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sanctions; public good; experiment; venting emotions;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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