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Turning a blind eye, but not the other cheek: on the robustness of costly punishment

Peter H. Kriss, Roberto Weber () and Erte Xiao ()

No 185, ECON - Working Papers from Department of Economics - University of Zurich

Abstract: Prior research demonstrates a willingness to incur costs to punish norm violators. But, how strong are the motives underlying such acts? Will people rely on "excuses" to avoid acting on costly punishment intentions, as with other costly pro-social acts? In a laboratory experiment, we find that third parties punish reluctantly: they state a preference to punish, but avoid the opportunity when doing so does not reveal this as their preference. In contrast, second parties - those directly wronged - are resolute punishers: they actively seek out the opportunity to punish. Our findings highlight important differences in motives underlying second- and third-party punishment.

Keywords: Experiment; third-party punishment; second-party punishment; fairness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C92 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-gth
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Journal Article: Turning a blind eye, but not the other cheek: On the robustness of costly punishment (2016) Downloads
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