Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Third-party punishment and social norms


Fehr, Ernst; Fischbacher, Urs (2004). Third-party punishment and social norms. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(2):63-87.

Abstract

We examine the characteristics and relative strength of third-party sanctions in a series of experiments. We hypothesize that egalitarian distribution norms and cooperation norms apply in our experiments, and that third parties, whose economic payoff is unaffected by the norm violation, may be willing to enforce these norms although the enforcement is costly for them. Almost two-thirds of the third parties indeed punished the violation of the distribution norm and their punishment increased the more the norm was violated. Likewise, up to roughly 60% of the third parties punished violations of the cooperation norm. Thus, our results show that the notion of strong reciprocity extends to the sanctioning behavior of “unaffected” third parties. In addition, these experiments suggest that third-party punishment games are powerful tools for studying the characteristics and the content of social norms. Further experiments indicate that second parties, whose economic payoff is reduced by the norm violation, punish the violation much more strongly than do third parties.

Abstract

We examine the characteristics and relative strength of third-party sanctions in a series of experiments. We hypothesize that egalitarian distribution norms and cooperation norms apply in our experiments, and that third parties, whose economic payoff is unaffected by the norm violation, may be willing to enforce these norms although the enforcement is costly for them. Almost two-thirds of the third parties indeed punished the violation of the distribution norm and their punishment increased the more the norm was violated. Likewise, up to roughly 60% of the third parties punished violations of the cooperation norm. Thus, our results show that the notion of strong reciprocity extends to the sanctioning behavior of “unaffected” third parties. In addition, these experiments suggest that third-party punishment games are powerful tools for studying the characteristics and the content of social norms. Further experiments indicate that second parties, whose economic payoff is reduced by the norm violation, punish the violation much more strongly than do third parties.

Statistics

Citations

607 citations in Web of Science®
659 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

85 downloads since deposited on 06 May 2015
72 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social norm, Sanction, Punishment, Strong reciprocity, Social preference, Third party
Language:English
Date:March 2004
Deposited On:06 May 2015 08:39
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 12:57
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1090-5138
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(04)00005-4

Download

Download PDF  'Third-party punishment and social norms'.
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 838kB
View at publisher
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 347kB