The dark side of altruistic third-party punishment

Andreas Leibbrandt, Raul Lopez-Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article experimentally studies punishment from unaffected third parties in ten different games. The authors show that third-party punishment exhibits several features that are arguably undesirable. First, third parties punish strongly a decider if she chooses a socially efficient or a Pareto efficient allocation and becomes the richest party as a result. Interestingly, this form of punishment is especially pronounced in women and more left-wing participants. Second, third parties punish strongly a decider if she chooses an equitable allocation and becomes the richest party as a result. Finally, third parties considerably punish passive parties who make no choice, especially if the latter are richer than the third party. Implications of these findings for social theory are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761 - 784
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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