Turning the Lab into Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon A Lab Experiment on the Transparency of Punishment
31 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2010 Last revised: 19 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 2018
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
JEL Classification: C91, H41, K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation