The Envious Punisher: Understanding Third and Second Party Punishment with Simple Games
We provide a systematic comparison of punishment from unaffected third parties and affected second parties using a within-subject design in ten simple games. We apply the classification analysis by El-Gamal and Grether (1995) and find that a parsimonious model assuming subjects are either envious or selfish best explains the punishment from both third and second parties. Third and second parties punish richer co-players, even if they chose a socially or Pareto-efficient allocation or if they are merely bystanders who made no choice. Despite their unaffected position, we do not find that third parties punish in a more impartial or normative manner.
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