Third-party punishment and counter-punishment in one-shot interactions

Loukas Balafoutas, Kristoffel Grechenig, Nikos Nikiforakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents experimental evidence from a simple three-person game showing that many individuals are willing to avenge third-party punishment in one-shot interactions. The threat of counter-punishment has a large negative effect on the willingness of third parties to punish selfish behavior. In spite of this, the extent of selfish behavior is identical to that in a treatment without counter-punishment opportunities. We discuss explanations for this puzzling finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-310
Number of pages3
JournalEconomics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Counter-punishment
  • Norm enforcement
  • One-shot games
  • Third-party punishment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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