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Punishment and Status
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Social hierarchy is part of human interaction in all societies, and hierarchical systems are sustained by social norms and their enforcement. In this study, we investigate how relative social status influences norm enforcement in a dictator game with third party punishment. Status is conveyed by surname; half of the third parties are matched with a dictator with a noble name and half with a dictator with a common name. Receivers and third parties all have common names. We find that third parties facing a low-status male dictator punish to a greater extent than third parties facing a dictator from any other social category. Interestingly, discriminatory behavior occurs only in male-to-male interactions. For offers below 40 percent of the allocated resource, male third parties punish a low-status male dictator almost twice as much as his high-status counterpart. Thus, exposure to economic punishment is significantly impacted by social status in our sample.

Keyword [en]
Status, punishment, discrimination, experiment
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88176OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-88176DiVA: diva2:610040
Available from: 2013-03-08 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-03-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Understanding unequal outcomes: Studies on gender, social status and foreignness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding unequal outcomes: Studies on gender, social status and foreignness
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In economics there are two main domains of explanation for understanding unequal outcomes. The first considers differences in individual preferences, while the second concerns differences in how individuals are treated.

Part I of the thesis comprises four articles pertaining to the first explanation. The main focus of these articles is gender differences in preference. The behaviors studied therein are risk preferences, competitiveness, altruism and cooperativeness. The first study finds no gender differences in performance under a competitive setting, across tasks with varying gender stereotyping. In the second study we find the gender gap in choosing to compete to be present only in the mathematical and not the verbal domain among adolescents. Moreover, its presence can largely be accounted for by other factors, such as performance beliefs. The third and fourth study compares children in Colombia and Sweden. In this sample there are no gender differences in Colombia, but in Sweden boys choose to compete more than girls. In risk-aversion however we find the gender gap to be larger in Colombia. Girls compared to boys also seem to be less cooperative in Colombia, whereas we find the opposite in Sweden.

Part II comprises two articles relating to how individuals are treated by others. The first article explores how social status influences third party punishment. Punishment decisions made by male third parties in response to a norm violation are in this study found to be affected by both the social status and the gender of the judged individual. The second article investigates how transient anonymity interacts with discrimination in online markets. The results show buyer discrimination in the feedback system against male sellers with foreign-sounding names. This discrimination only occurs when sellers are anonymous; that is, if they chose not to reveal their name in their username. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, 2013. 177 p.
Series
Dissertations in Economics, ISSN 1404-3491 ; 2013:3
Keyword
individual preferences, discrimination, gender, status, foreignness
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88180 (URN)978-91-7447-658-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-24, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-02 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-03-31Bibliographically approved

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