Quotation Tremewan, James, Montag, Josef. 2018. Let the punishment fit the criminal: An experimental study. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization




We use a laboratory experiment to study the extent to which people tailor levels of punishment to the subjective experience of the person to receive that punishment, for both monetary and non-monetary sanctions. We find that subjects tend to apply higher fines to wealthier individuals. Additionally, subjects assign more repetitions of a tedious task to those with a lower willingness to pay to avoid it. We find no evidence that the distributions of monetary and non-monetary punishments are different when considered as proportions of the maximum possible punishment, but that this does not hold when non-monetary punishments are converted into monetary equivalents. This suggests that subjects do not have in mind a particular level of disutility from the punishment, but rather are guided by the sentencing possibilities.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag
  • Monetary punishment
  • Non-monetary punishment
  • Subjective experience
  • Laboratory experiment

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, STRAT-A, VW-B, WH-A
Language English
Title Let the punishment fit the criminal: An experimental study
Year 2018
DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.07.011
Open Access N


Tremewan, James (Former researcher)
Montag, Josef (Kazakh-British Technical University, Kazakhstan)
Department of Economics (Sausgruber) (Details)
Department of Economics DP (Details)
Competence Center for Experimental Research WE (Details)
Google Scholar: Search