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The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment

Astrid Hopfensitz and Ernesto Reuben

No 05-075/1, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: This paper experimentally explores how the enforcement of cooperative behavior in a social dilemma is facilitated through institutional as well as emotional mechanisms. Recent studies emphasize the importance of negatively valued emotions, such as anger, which motivate individuals to punish free riders. However, these types of emotions also trigger retaliatory behavior by the punished individuals. This makes the enforcement of a cooperative norm more costly. We show that in addition to anger, ‘social’ emotions like shame and guilt need to be present for punishment to be an effective deterrent of uncooperative actions. They play a key role by subduing the desire of punished individuals to retaliate and by motivating them to behave more cooperatively in the future.

Keywords: Emotions; Punishment; Retaliation; Counter punishment; Social Norms; Fairness; Cooperation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D74 H41 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-08-02, Revised 2006-03-28
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (15)

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment (2009)
Journal Article: The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment (2006) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tin:wpaper:20050075

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