ICES Occasional Brown Bag for November 29

Events | November 22, 2012

Join us for an ICES Occasional Brown Bag Lecture featuring Fangfang Tan.

Dr. Tang, of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, will discuss her paper (co-authored with Erte Xiao) Third Party Punishment: Retribution or Deterrence?. The talk will take place on Thursday, November 29th, from 12:00 to 1:00pm, in room 400-R of the Truland Building, Arlington campus.

Coffee and dessert will be provided.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP with Stan Tsirulnikov.

Please visit the Brown Bag Schedule to read this week’s paper (to be posted soon) and to learn more about upcoming brown bags.


We conduct an experiment to examine the role of retribution and deterrence in motivating third-party punishment and, in particular, how the importance of these motives differ between a group third-party and an individual third-party. In the experiment, third parties are empowered with the right to uphold or negate punishments proposed by players in a PD game. We vary the timing with which third party punishment decisions are displayed across treatments: some are imposed ex- post (after players’ decisions) and thus can only be retributive, while others are threatened ex-ante (before players’ decisions) and thus have a deterrence effect. In all cases, third parties must specify punishment amounts when approving punishment proposals. The timing of punishment does not affect individual third-party decisions. On the other hand, we find third-party groups to be significantly more likely to approve punishment when it includes a deterrent effect. We also find that, in general, third-party punishment is weaker when it is levied by a group than by an individual.

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