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Turning a blind eye, but not the other cheek: on the robustness of costly punishment


Kriss, Peter H; Weber, Roberto A; Xiao, Erte (2015). Turning a blind eye, but not the other cheek: on the robustness of costly punishment. Working paper series / Department of Economics 185, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Prior research demonstrates a willingness to incur costs to punish norm violators. But, how strong are the motives underlying such acts? Will people rely on "excuses" to avoid acting on costly punishment intentions, as with other costly pro-social acts? In a laboratory experiment, we find that third parties punish reluctantly: they state a preference to punish, but avoid the opportunity when doing so does not reveal this as their preference. In contrast, second parties - those directly wronged - are resolute punishers: they actively seek out the opportunity to punish. Our findings highlight important differences in motives underlying second- and third-party punishment.

Abstract

Prior research demonstrates a willingness to incur costs to punish norm violators. But, how strong are the motives underlying such acts? Will people rely on "excuses" to avoid acting on costly punishment intentions, as with other costly pro-social acts? In a laboratory experiment, we find that third parties punish reluctantly: they state a preference to punish, but avoid the opportunity when doing so does not reveal this as their preference. In contrast, second parties - those directly wronged - are resolute punishers: they actively seek out the opportunity to punish. Our findings highlight important differences in motives underlying second- and third-party punishment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:C72, C92, D64
Uncontrolled Keywords:Experiment, third-party punishment, second-party punishment, fairness
Language:English
Date:January 2015
Deposited On:14 Jan 2015 15:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 10:30
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:38
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp185.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php
http://www.zora.uzh.ch/124559/

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