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“Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values

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  • Cervellati, Matteo
  • Vanin, Paolo

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of the relationship between prohibitions and temptation. In the presence of self-control problems, moral values may increase individual material welfare (and utility) by serving as a self-commitment device. The model investigates the relationship between morality and temptation, the individual gains from morality, the interaction between external sanctions and moral self-punishment and the spread and strength of individually optimal moral values. The empirical analysis, based on survey data for a large set of countries, documents a hump-shaped pattern of morality in social class, which supports the theoretical predictions of the model.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 15-28

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:103:y:2013:i:c:p:15-28

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Prohibitions; Temptation; Self-control; Moral values; Crime;

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Cited by:
  1. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.
  2. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Discussion Papers 2013/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  3. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work Norms, Social Insurance and the Allocation of Talent," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 405, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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