NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Vengeance

Naci H. Mocan

NBER Working Paper No. 14131
Issued in June 2008
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE

This paper investigates the extent of vengeful feelings and their determinants using data on more than 89,000 individuals from 53 countries. Country characteristics (such as per-capita income, average education of the country, presence of an armed conflict, the extent of the rule-of-law, uninterrupted democracy, individualism) as well as personal attributes of the individuals influence vengeful feelings. The magnitude of vengeful feelings is greater for people in low-income countries, in countries with low levels of education, low levels of the rule-of-law, in collectivist countries and in countries that experienced an armed conflict in recent history. Females, older people, working people, people who live in high-crime areas of their country and people who are at the bottom 50% of their country's income distribution are more vengeful. The intensity of vengeful feelings dies off gradually over time. The findings suggest that vengeful feelings of people are subdued as a country develops economically and becomes more stable politically and socially and that both country characteristics and personal attributes are important determinants of vengeance. Poor people who live in higher-income societies that are ethno-linguistically homogeneous are as vengeful as rich people who live in low-income societies that are ethno-linguistically fragmented. These results reinforce the idea that some puzzles about individual choice can best be explained by considering the interplay of personal and cultural factors.

download in pdf format
   (348 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (348 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Published: “Vengeance. ” The Review of Economics and Statistics, July 2013. Vol 95:3; pp. 969-82.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Mocan w10460 What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data
Harbaugh, Mocan, and Visser w17059 Theft and Deterrence
Di Tella and Dubra w17309 Free to Punish? The American Dream and the Harsh Treatment of Criminals
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us