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Turning the Lab into Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. A Lab Experiment on the Transparency of Punishment

Christoph Engel ()

No 2010_06, Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods from Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Abstract: The most famous element in Bentham’s theory of punishment, the Panopticon Prison, expresses his view of the two purposes of punishment, deterrence and special prevention. This paper inves-tigates Bentham’s intuition in a public goods lab experiment, by manipulating how much infor-mation on punishment experienced by others is available to would-be offenders. Compared with the tone that Jeremy Bentham set, the result is non-expected: If would-be offenders learn about contributions and punishment of others at the individual level, they contribute much less to the public project.

Keywords: Punishment; Deterrence; Special Prevention; Jeremy Bentham; Experiment; Public Good (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 H41 K14 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-02, Revised 2018-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-pbe
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

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