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The Dark Side of Altruistic Third-Party Punishment

Andreas Leibbrandt () and Raúl López-Pérez ()
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Raúl López-Pérez: Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Autoónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Raúl López-Pérez

Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2011, vol. 55, issue 5, 761-784

Abstract: This article experimentally studies punishment from unaffected third parties in ten different games. The authors show that third-party punishment exhibits several features that are arguably undesirable. First, third parties punish strongly a decider if she chooses a socially efficient or a Pareto efficient allocation and becomes the richest party as a result. Interestingly, this form of punishment is especially pronounced in women and more left-wing participants. Second, third parties punish strongly a decider if she chooses an equitable allocation and becomes the richest party as a result. Finally, third parties considerably punish passive parties who make no choice, especially if the latter are richer than the third party. Implications of these findings for social theory are discussed.

Keywords: altruistic punishment; efficiency; inequity-aversion; third parties (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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