Black Sheep and Walls of Silence

38 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2005

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: October 2005

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the frequently observed phenomenon that (i) some members of a team ('black sheep') exhibit behaviour disliked by other (honest) team members, who (ii) nevertheless refrain from reporting such misbehaviour 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 teams in which the importance of these benefits varies across team members are especially prone to the above mentioned phenomenon.

Keywords: Teams, misbehaviour, wall of silence, asymmetric information

JEL Classification: C73, D82

Suggested Citation

Muehlheusser, Gerd and Roider, Andreas, Black Sheep and Walls of Silence (October 2005). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5308. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=872860

Gerd Muehlheusser (Contact Author)

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

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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