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Third party punishment and social norms


Fehr, Ernst; Fischbacher, Urs (2004). Third party punishment and social norms. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 106, University of Zurich.

Abstract

"We examine the characteristics and the relative strength of third party sanctions inna series of experiments. We hypothesize that egalitarian distribution norms and cooperationnnorms apply in our experiments, and that third parties, whose economic payoff is unaffectednby the norm violation, may be willing to enforce these norms although the enforcement isncostly for them. Almost two-thirds of the third parties indeed punish the violation of thendistribution norm and their punishment increases the more the norm is violated. Likewise, upnto roughly 60 percent of the third parties punish the violation of the cooperation norm. Thus,nour results show that the notion of strong reciprocity also extends to the sanctioning behaviornof “unaffected” third parties. In addition, these experiments suggest that third partynpunishment games are powerful tools for studying the characteristics and the content of socialnnorms. Further experiments indicate that second parties, whose economic payoff is reducednby the norm violation, punish the violation much more strongly than do third parties. We alsoncollect questionnaire evidence that is consistent with the view that fairness motives andnnegative emotions are a determinant of third party sanctions."

"We examine the characteristics and the relative strength of third party sanctions inna series of experiments. We hypothesize that egalitarian distribution norms and cooperationnnorms apply in our experiments, and that third parties, whose economic payoff is unaffectednby the norm violation, may be willing to enforce these norms although the enforcement isncostly for them. Almost two-thirds of the third parties indeed punish the violation of thendistribution norm and their punishment increases the more the norm is violated. Likewise, upnto roughly 60 percent of the third parties punish the violation of the cooperation norm. Thus,nour results show that the notion of strong reciprocity also extends to the sanctioning behaviornof “unaffected” third parties. In addition, these experiments suggest that third partynpunishment games are powerful tools for studying the characteristics and the content of socialnnorms. Further experiments indicate that second parties, whose economic payoff is reducednby the norm violation, punish the violation much more strongly than do third parties. We alsoncollect questionnaire evidence that is consistent with the view that fairness motives andnnegative emotions are a determinant of third party sanctions."

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2004
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:10
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Additional Information:Published in: Evolution and Human Behavior 25 (2004) 63 - 87
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52006

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