Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/76077
Authors: 
Feld, Lars P.
Tyran, Jean-Robert
Year of Publication: 
2002
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 651
Abstract: 
According to economists, severe legal sanctions deter violations of the law. According to legal scholars, people may obey law backed by mild sanctions because of norm-activation. We experimentally investigate the effects of mild and severe legal sanctions in the provision of public goods. The results show that severe sanctions almost perfectly deter free-riding. However, people also obey law backed by mild sanctions if it is accepted in a referendum. We show that voting for mild law induces expectations of cooperation, and that people tend to obey the law if they expect many others to do so.
Subjects: 
deterrent effect of legal sanctions
expressive law
social norms
public goods
voting.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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