The logic of costly punishment reversed: expropriation of free-riders and outsiders

Hugh-Jones, David and Perroni, Carlo (2017) The logic of costly punishment reversed: expropriation of free-riders and outsiders. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 135. 112–130. ISSN 0167-2681

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Abstract

Current literature views the punishment of free-riders as an under-supplied public good, carried out by individuals at a cost to themselves. It need not be so: often, free-riders’ property can be forcibly appropriated by a coordinated group. This power makes punishment profitable, but it can also be abused. It is easier to contain abuses, and focus group punishment on free-riders, in societies where coordinated expropriation is harder. Our theory explains why public goods are undersupplied in heterogenous communities: because groups target minorities instead of free-riders. In our laboratory experiment, outcomes were more efficient when coordination was more difficult, while outgroup members were targeted more than ingroup members, and reacted differently to punishment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cooperation,costly punishment,group coercion,heterogeneity
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2017 00:07
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2020 00:41
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/62090
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.01.006

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