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Emotion Venting and Punishment in Public Good Experiments

David Dickinson and David Masclet ()

Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) from Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS

Abstract: Experimental studies have shown that sanctions effectively deter free riding within groups. However, the over-use of costly punishment may actually harm overall welfare. A main reason for over-punishment is that free-riders generate negative emotions that likely favor excessive punishments. In this paper we ask whether the venting of one’s emotions in different ways can reduce the level of excessive punishment in a standard VCM-with-punishment environment while preserving the norm enforcement properties of punishment. We find that venting emotions reduces (excessive) punishment, and under certain conditions the net effect is an increase in final payoffs (i.e., welfare) to the group.

Keywords: sanctions; public good; experiment; venting emotions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 H41 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cdm and nep-exp
Date: 2014-11
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Related works:
Journal Article: Emotion venting and punishment in public good experiments (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Emotion venting and punishment in public good experiments (2015)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tut:cremwp:201414

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