Achieving Compliance When Legal Sanctions are Non-Deterrent

22 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Jean-Robert Tyran

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Lars P. Feld

Walter Eucken Institute; University of Freiburg - College of Economics and Behavioral Sciences; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Abstract

Law backed by non-deterrent sanctions (mild law) has been hypothesized to achieve compliance because of norm activation. We experimentally investigate the effects of mild law in the provision of public goods by comparing it to severe law (deterrent sanctions) and no law. The results show that exogenously imposing mild law does not achieve compliance, but compliance is much improved if mild law is endogenously chosen, i.e., self-imposed. We show that voting for mild law induces expectations of cooperation, and that people tend to comply with the law if they expect many others to do so.

Suggested Citation

Tyran, Jean-Robert and Feld, Lars P., Achieving Compliance When Legal Sanctions are Non-Deterrent. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 108, No. 1, pp. 135-156, March 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=901048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2006.00444.x

Jean-Robert Tyran (Contact Author)

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, Vienna 1090
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/jean-robert.tyran/

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 353 23 027 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/tyran/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Lars P. Feld

Walter Eucken Institute ( email )

Goethestrasse 10
Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg D-79100
Germany

University of Freiburg - College of Economics and Behavioral Sciences ( email )

Freiburg, D-79085
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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