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A theory of moral persistence: Crypto-morality and political legitimacy

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  • Greif, Avner
  • Tadelis, Steven

Abstract

Why, how, and under what conditions do moral beliefs persist despite institutional pressure for change? Why do the powerful often fail to promote the morality of their authority? This paper addresses these questions by presenting the role of crypto-morality in moral persistence. Crypto-morality is the secret adherence to one morality while practicing another in public. A simple overlapping generations model is developed to examine the conditions under which crypto-morality is practiced, decays and influences the direction of moral change. We demonstrate the empirical relevance of crypto-morality by discussing the moral foundations of political legitimacy in various historical episodes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 229-244

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:229-244

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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Keywords: Morality Moral persistence Institutions Political legitimacy Crypto-morality;

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  5. Rubin, Jared, 2014. "Centralized institutions and cascades," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 340-357.
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Cited by:
  1. Mendelski, Martin & Libman, Alexander, 2011. "History matters, but how? An example of Ottoman and Habsburg legacies and judicial performance in Romania," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management 175, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. Coşgel, Metin M. & Miceli, Thomas J. & Rubin, Jared, 2012. "The political economy of mass printing: Legitimacy and technological change in the Ottoman Empire," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 357-371.
  3. Brousseau, Eric & Garrouste, Pierre & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "Institutional changes: Alternative theories and consequences for institutional design," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/7073, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Rubin, Jared, 2011. "Centralized institutions and cascades," MPRA Paper 32364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Vidal-Robert, Jordi, 2014. "Long-run effects of the Spanish Inquisition," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 192, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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