CREATe Working Paper 2016/01
Piers Fleming, Melanie Parravano and Daniel John Zizzo (2016)
We present a laboratory experiment that systematically investigates the determinants of acquisition behavior with a negative externality on a rights holder. We consider social and moral determinants of unlawful behavior as well as standard penalty and punishment risk trade-offs. We find that, while punishment risk and penalty size reduce unlawful behavior, they are not the only determinants that do. Moral determinants matter: there being a victim, and the victim deserving to be the rights holder, makes a difference. Social norms also matter: controlling for other variables, one point more of social appropriateness increase unlawful behavior by around 30-40%.
Keywords: crime, unlawful file sharing, punishment, deservingness, social norms.