Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions

Mehmet Y. Gürdal, Orhan Torul, Alexander Vostroknutov

Research output: Working paperProfessional

168 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We study the incentives that drive behavior in redistributive institutions with various levels of enforcement. We are interested in how the opportunistic incentive to use a redistributive institution for personal gain and the desire to follow the rules of a regulated community, populated by similarly obedient individuals, interact and determine the success or failure of an institution. In the experiment, subjects can repeatedly join one of three groups, which are defined by explicitly stated injunctive norms that require to put all, half, or any amount of income to a common pool for redistribution. The treatments differ in the level of enforcement of these norms. We find that contributions are sustained only in the case of full enforcement. However, a sizeable number of subjects persist in following the norms of redistribution even after experiencing many periods of losses due to free riding. We find that subjects with strong propensity to follow norms perceive the same level of income inequality as fairer, when it was achieved without breaking the norm, and favor redistributive mechanisms with more stringent rules. This suggests that well-defined redistributive norms can create a powerful incentive for cooperation as many individuals seem to prefer stable regulated egalitarian institutions to unregulated libertarian ones. Some form of enforcement is, nevertheless, required to protect egalitarian institutions from exploitation by free riders.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • social norms
  • taxation
  • redistribution
  • egalitarianism
  • libertarianism
  • limited enforcement

Cite this

Gürdal, M. Y., Torul, O., & Vostroknutov, A. (2019). Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics.
Gürdal, Mehmet Y. ; Torul, Orhan ; Vostroknutov, Alexander. / Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics, 2019.
@techreport{d0884c9182e54516b521caee6bb879e6,
title = "Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions",
abstract = "We study the incentives that drive behavior in redistributive institutions with various levels of enforcement. We are interested in how the opportunistic incentive to use a redistributive institution for personal gain and the desire to follow the rules of a regulated community, populated by similarly obedient individuals, interact and determine the success or failure of an institution. In the experiment, subjects can repeatedly join one of three groups, which are defined by explicitly stated injunctive norms that require to put all, half, or any amount of income to a common pool for redistribution. The treatments differ in the level of enforcement of these norms. We find that contributions are sustained only in the case of full enforcement. However, a sizeable number of subjects persist in following the norms of redistribution even after experiencing many periods of losses due to free riding. We find that subjects with strong propensity to follow norms perceive the same level of income inequality as fairer, when it was achieved without breaking the norm, and favor redistributive mechanisms with more stringent rules. This suggests that well-defined redistributive norms can create a powerful incentive for cooperation as many individuals seem to prefer stable regulated egalitarian institutions to unregulated libertarian ones. Some form of enforcement is, nevertheless, required to protect egalitarian institutions from exploitation by free riders.",
keywords = "social norms, taxation, redistribution, egalitarianism, libertarianism, limited enforcement",
author = "G{\"u}rdal, {Mehmet Y.} and Orhan Torul and Alexander Vostroknutov",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "16",
language = "English",
publisher = "Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics",
address = "Netherlands",
type = "WorkingPaper",
institution = "Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics",

}

Gürdal, MY, Torul, O & Vostroknutov, A 2019 'Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions' Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics.

Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions. / Gürdal, Mehmet Y.; Torul, Orhan; Vostroknutov, Alexander.

Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics, 2019.

Research output: Working paperProfessional

TY - UNPB

T1 - Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions

AU - Gürdal, Mehmet Y.

AU - Torul, Orhan

AU - Vostroknutov, Alexander

PY - 2019/4/16

Y1 - 2019/4/16

N2 - We study the incentives that drive behavior in redistributive institutions with various levels of enforcement. We are interested in how the opportunistic incentive to use a redistributive institution for personal gain and the desire to follow the rules of a regulated community, populated by similarly obedient individuals, interact and determine the success or failure of an institution. In the experiment, subjects can repeatedly join one of three groups, which are defined by explicitly stated injunctive norms that require to put all, half, or any amount of income to a common pool for redistribution. The treatments differ in the level of enforcement of these norms. We find that contributions are sustained only in the case of full enforcement. However, a sizeable number of subjects persist in following the norms of redistribution even after experiencing many periods of losses due to free riding. We find that subjects with strong propensity to follow norms perceive the same level of income inequality as fairer, when it was achieved without breaking the norm, and favor redistributive mechanisms with more stringent rules. This suggests that well-defined redistributive norms can create a powerful incentive for cooperation as many individuals seem to prefer stable regulated egalitarian institutions to unregulated libertarian ones. Some form of enforcement is, nevertheless, required to protect egalitarian institutions from exploitation by free riders.

AB - We study the incentives that drive behavior in redistributive institutions with various levels of enforcement. We are interested in how the opportunistic incentive to use a redistributive institution for personal gain and the desire to follow the rules of a regulated community, populated by similarly obedient individuals, interact and determine the success or failure of an institution. In the experiment, subjects can repeatedly join one of three groups, which are defined by explicitly stated injunctive norms that require to put all, half, or any amount of income to a common pool for redistribution. The treatments differ in the level of enforcement of these norms. We find that contributions are sustained only in the case of full enforcement. However, a sizeable number of subjects persist in following the norms of redistribution even after experiencing many periods of losses due to free riding. We find that subjects with strong propensity to follow norms perceive the same level of income inequality as fairer, when it was achieved without breaking the norm, and favor redistributive mechanisms with more stringent rules. This suggests that well-defined redistributive norms can create a powerful incentive for cooperation as many individuals seem to prefer stable regulated egalitarian institutions to unregulated libertarian ones. Some form of enforcement is, nevertheless, required to protect egalitarian institutions from exploitation by free riders.

KW - social norms

KW - taxation

KW - redistribution

KW - egalitarianism

KW - libertarianism

KW - limited enforcement

M3 - Working paper

BT - Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions

PB - Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics

ER -

Gürdal MY, Torul O, Vostroknutov A. Norm Compliance,Enforcement,and the Survival of Redistributive Institutions. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics. 2019 Apr 16.