Norm Enforcement: Anger, Indignation or Reciprocity?

24 Pages Posted: 6 May 2005

See all articles by Peter Hans Matthews

Peter Hans Matthews

Middlebury College - Department of Economics

Jeffrey P. Carpenter

Middlebury College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

The enforcement of social norms often requires that unaffected third parties sanction offenders. Given the renewed interest of economists in norms, the literature on third party punishment is surprisingly thin, however. In this paper, we report on the results of an experiment designed to evaluate two distinct explanations for this phenomenon, indignation and group reciprocity. We find evidence in favor of both, with the caveat that the incidence of indignation-driven sanctions is perhaps smaller than earlier studies have hinted. Furthermore, our results suggest that second parties use sanctions to promote conformism while third parties intervene primarily to promote efficiency.

Keywords: experiment, voluntary contribution mechanism, norm, third party punishment, reciprocity, indignation

JEL Classification: C79, C91, C92, D64, H41

Suggested Citation

Matthews, Peter Hans and Carpenter, Jeffrey P., Norm Enforcement: Anger, Indignation or Reciprocity? (May 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1583. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=719941

Peter Hans Matthews

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802 443-5591 (Phone)
802 443-2084 (Fax)

Jeffrey P. Carpenter (Contact Author)

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802-443-3241 (Phone)
802-443-2084 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://community.middlebury.edu/~jcarpent/index.ht

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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