Being the best or doing the right thing? An investigation of positional, prosocial and conformist preferences in provision of public goods
AbstractBased on a simple theoretical framework, we show that when individuals exhibit positional, prosocial or conformist preferences which are endogenous, the end outcomes in terms of private provision of public goods can differ significantly from traditional neo-classical predictions. Indeed, when a given individual selects a specific subset of preferences according to what others do, he/she will contribute positively to the public good provision. We provide anecdotal evidence to support our theoretical analysis by using data from an Internet survey on a sample of French individuals. Analyses of individual responses confirm our theoretical arguments. For instance, we show that relative concerns matter, that is, for several environmental goods, people might prefer polluting more in absolute terms but less than others in society. Moreover, we also test whether people exhibit a social desirability bias and show that they attribute more (less) positional (prosocial) concerns to others in society.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).
Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175
Positional concerns; Prosocial preferences; Public goods;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
- Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carlsson, Fredrik & García, Jorge H. & Löfgren, Åsa, 2008.
"Conformity and the demand for environmental goods,"
Working Papers in Economics
286, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006.
"Incentives and Prosocial Behavior,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 389, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2006.
- Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," Working Papers 137, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
- Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2007.
"Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially,"
07-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-55, March.
- Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," IZA Discussion Papers 2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Celse, Jérémy, 2012. "Is the positional bias an artefact? Distinguishing positional concerns from egalitarian concerns," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 277-283.
- Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
- Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2003.
"Do You Enjoy Having More Than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods,"
Working Papers in Economics
100, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
- Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
- Kenneth V. Greene & Phillip J. Nelson, 2007. "Is relative income of overriding importance for individuals?," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(11), pages 883-898, November.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999.
"A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
- Gerry Boyle & Kenneth Greene & Phillip Nelson & Mario Pagliero, 2007. "A Comparative Study of Student Demand for Status in Ireland, Italy and the United States," ICER Working Papers 01-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
- J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
- Lisette IBANEZ & Nathalie MOUREAU & Sébastien ROUSSEL, 2012. "Emotions Incidentes et Comportements Pro-Environnementaux," Working Papers 12-29, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Sep 2012.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.