The behavioral foundations of retaliatory justice

Vincy Fon, Francesco Parisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Norms of positive and negative reciprocity constitute important constraints that affect human behavior. While much attention has been devoted to the economics of reciprocity in cooperation, the stylized fact that humans have a natural predisposition towards negative reciprocity and retaliation has received little consideration in the literature. In this study we investigate the behavioral foundations of retaliatory justice by considering the conditions under which norms of retaliation may constitute instruments for promoting desirable cooperation. The results suggest that human instincts for revenge may an important ingredient for the sustainability of peaceful social behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-72
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Bioeconomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Negative reciprocity
  • Retaliation
  • Revenge
  • Vindictiveness


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