Black Sheep and Walls of Silence

35 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2004

See all articles by Gerd Muehlheusser

Gerd Muehlheusser

University of Hamburg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Andreas Roider

University of Regensburg - Department of Economics and Econometrics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the frequently observed phenomenon that (i) some members of a team (black sheep) exhibit behavior disliked by other (honest) team members, who (ii) nevertheless refrain from reporting such misbehavior to the authorities (they set up a wall of silence). Much cited examples include hospitals and police departments. In this paper, these features arise in equilibrium. An important ingredient of our model are benefits that agents receive when cooperating with each other in a team. Our results suggest that asymmetric teams where these benefits vary across team members are especially prone to the above mentioned phenomenon.

Keywords: teams, misbehavior, wall of silence, asymmetric information

JEL Classification: D82, C73

Suggested Citation

Muehlheusser, Gerd and Roider, Andreas, Black Sheep and Walls of Silence (June 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1171. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=561703

Gerd Muehlheusser

University of Hamburg ( email )

Von Melle Park 5
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Andreas Roider (Contact Author)

University of Regensburg - Department of Economics and Econometrics ( email )

Universitaetsstrasse 31
D-93040 Regensburg
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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