Behavioral Ethics Lab

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Journal Article

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Publication Source

Journal of Economic Psychology



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We measured the beliefs and behavior of third parties who were given the opportunity to add to or deduct from the payoffs of individuals who engaged in an economic bargaining game under different social contexts. Third parties rewarded bargaining outcomes that were equal and compensated victims of unfair bargaining outcomes rather than punishing perpetrators, but were willing to punish when compensation was not an available option. Beliefs of whether unequal bargaining outcomes were fair differed based on the normative context, but actual punishment, compensation, and rewarding behavior did not. This paper makes a contribution to the literature on informal mechanisms of social norm enforcement by comparing negative sanctions, positive sanctions, and compensation behavior by third parties.

Copyright/Permission Statement

NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms, may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Psychology, 39, December 2013, 10.1016/j.joep.2013.09.004.


At the time of publication, author Alex Chavez was affiliated with the University of Michigan. Currently, he is a faculty member at the Behavioral Ethics Lab at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 01 December 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.