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Pointless vendettas

Author

Listed:
  • Klaus Abbink

    (University of East Anglia)

  • Benedikt Herrmann

    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We introduce the experimental vendetta game. Two groups of four players each interact over ten identical rounds. In each round each player decides whether or not to reduce the payoff of each member of the other group, at an own cost. Reducing payoffs entails no material benefit for either the player or his group and is motivated by nastiness. Over the rounds, however, players can use reductions to avenge earlier transgressions. Fear of retaliation keeps destruction rates low (13%). The introduction of a symbolic reward, however, trebles the frequency of hostile acts (40%).

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Abbink & Benedikt Herrmann, 2009. "Pointless vendettas," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-10, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-10
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    File URL: https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/14307614/CBESS-09-10.pdf/1628d968-b37a-4d41-9c62-829509b5406d
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lacomba, Juan A. & Lagos, Francisco & Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2014. "On the escalation and de-escalation of conflict," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 40-57.
    2. Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane & Spitzer, Florian, 2016. "What Drives Destruction? On the Malleability of Anti-Social Behavior," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 5343, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. Ramalingam, Abhijit & Godoy, Sara & Morales, Antonio J. & Walker, James M., 2016. "An individualistic approach to institution formation in public good games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 18-36.
    4. repec:spr:laecrv:v:26:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40503-017-0043-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Brilon, Stefanie, 2014. "Anti-social behavior in profit and nonprofit organizations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 149-161.
    6. Hugh Jones, David; Leroch, Martin A, 2011. "Reciprocity towards Groups," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 52, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Karakostas, Alexandros & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2016. "Compliance and the power of authority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 67-80.
    8. Alejandro T. Moreno-Okuno & Alejandro Mosiño, 2017. "A theory of sequential group reciprocity," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 26(1), pages 1-19, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    conflict; group behaviour; spite; laboratory experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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