Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/204704
Authors: 
Hoeft, Leonard
Mill, Wladislaw
Vostroknutov, Alexander
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Papers of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2019/6
Abstract: 
We study how the powerful perceive power abuse, and how negative experience related to it influences the appropriateness judgments of the powerless. We create an environment conducive to unfair exploitation in a repeated Public Goods game where one player (punisher) is given a further ability to costlessly subtract money from others (victims). Punishers who abuse their power rationalize their behavior by believing that free-riding, while forcing others to contribute, is not inappropriate. More importantly, victims of such abuse also start to believe that punishers' free-riding and punishment are justifiable. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of humans to exculpate abusive behavior.
Subjects: 
power abuse
norms
public goods
punishment
JEL: 
C91
C92
K42
H41
D73
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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