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Observed Punishment Spillover Effects: A Laboratory Investigation of Behavior in a Social Dilemma

David Dickinson, E. Dutcher and Cortney Rodet ()

No 13-20, Working Papers from Department of Economics, Appalachian State University

Abstract: Punishment has been shown to be an effective reinforcement mechanism. Intentional or not, punishment will likely generate spillover effects that extend beyond one’s immediate decision environment, and these spillovers are not as well understood. We seek to understand these secondary spillover effects in a controlled lab setting using a standard social dilemma: the voluntary contributions mechanism. We find that spillovers occur when others observe punishment outside their own social dilemma. However, the direction of the spillover effect depends crucially on personal punishment history and whether one is personally exempt from punishment or not. Key Words: Punishment, Punishment Spillovers, Vicarious Punishment, VCM, Social Dilemma, Experiment

JEL-codes: C91 C92 D03 H40 J24 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Observed punishment spillover effects: a laboratory investigation of behavior in a social dilemma (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Observed Punishment Spillover Effects: A Laboratory Investigation of Behavior in a Social Dilemma (2013) Downloads
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