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A fault confessed is half redressed - Confessions and Punishment

  • Verena Utikal

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.

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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 60.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0060
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