Beware of Broken Windows! First Impressions in Public-Good Experiment

32 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2009 Last revised: 29 Jan 2013

See all articles by Martin Beckenkamp

Martin Beckenkamp

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Andreas Glöckner

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne

Bernd Irlenbusch

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Management; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Heike Hennig‐Schmidt

University of Bonn - Laboratory for Experimental Economics

Sebastian Kube

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn

Michael J. Kurschilgen

Technical University Munich; Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods

Alexander Morell

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Andreas Nicklisch

University of Hamburg - School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Hans-Theo Normann

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Emanuel V. Towfigh

EBS Law School; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

Broken Windows: the metaphor has changed New York and Los Angeles. Yet it is far from un-disputed whether the broken windows policy was causal for reducing crime. In a series of lab experiments we put two components of the theory to the test. We show that first impressions and early punishment of antisocial behaviour are independently and jointly causal for cooperativeness. The effect of good first impressions and of early vigilance cannot be explained with, but adds to, participants’ initial level of benevolence. Mere impression management is not strong enough to maintain cooperation. Cooperation stabilizes if good first impressions are combined with some risk of sanctions. Yet if we control for first impressions, early vigilance only has a small effect. The effect vanishes over time.

Suggested Citation

Beckenkamp, Martin and Engel, Christoph and Glöckner, Andreas and Irlenbusch, Bernd and Henning-Schmidt, Heike and Kube, Sebastian and Kurschilgen, Michael J. and Morell, Alexander and Nicklisch, Andreas and Normann, Hans-Theo and Towfigh, Emanuel V., Beware of Broken Windows! First Impressions in Public-Good Experiment (January 1, 2013). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2009/21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432393 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1432393

Martin Beckenkamp

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, DE
Germany

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

Andreas Glöckner

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/andreas_gloeckner

University of Cologne ( email )

Richard-Strauss-Str. 2
Köln, 50931
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://soccco.uni-koeln.de/andreas-gloeckner.html

Bernd Irlenbusch

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Management ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7955 7840 (Phone)
+44 (0)20 7955 6887 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/management/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Heike Henning-Schmidt

University of Bonn - Laboratory for Experimental Economics ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Sebastian Kube

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Bonn

BWL 1
Adenauerallee 24-42
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Michael J. Kurschilgen

Technical University Munich ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
München, 80333
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mecon.wi.tum.de/index.php?id=28

Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/michael_kurschilgen

Alexander Morell

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Andreas Nicklisch

University of Hamburg - School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 5
Hamburg, D-20354
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
49 228 9141679 (Phone)
49 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/nicklisch.html

Hans-Theo Normann

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Emanuel V. Towfigh

EBS Law School ( email )

Gustav-Stresemann-Ring 3
Wiesbaden, Hessen 65189
Germany
+49 621 7102-2253 (Phone)
+49 621 7021-10-2253 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lehrstuhl-towfigh.de

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+49 228 91416-30 (Phone)
+49 228 91416-930 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/team/page/emanuel_towfigh

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