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A fault confessed is half redressed - Confessions and Punishment

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  • Verena Utikal

Abstract

Confessions after failures are socially desirable. However, confessions also bear the risk of punishment. In a laboratory experiment I examine how confessions work. I analyze whether the willingness to punish harmful failures depends on how the harmed party has learned about the outcome. The harmed party can learn about the outcome via random detection or self-report by the performer. I find that confessions are a powerful instrument: Punishment for confessed failures is less likely than for randomly detected failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Verena Utikal, 2010. "A fault confessed is half redressed - Confessions and Punishment," TWI Research Paper Series 60, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0060
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:soceco:v:73:y:2018:i:c:p:11-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Friehe, Tim & Utikal, Verena, 2018. "Intentions under cover – Hiding intentions is considered unfair," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 11-21.
    3. Fabian Dvorak & Sebastian Fehrler, 2018. "Negotiating Cooperation Under Uncertainty: Communication in Noisy, Indefinitely Repeated Interactions," TWI Research Paper Series 112, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    4. Dvorak, Fabian & Fehrler, Sebastian, 2018. "Negotiating Cooperation under Uncertainty: Communication in Noisy, Indefinitely Repeated Interactions," IZA Discussion Papers 11897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cheap Talk; Confession; Experiment; Intentions;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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