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Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding?

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Author Info

  • Robin Cubitt

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Michalis Drouvelis

    (University of York)

  • Simon Gaechter

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Ruslan Kabalin

    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

In the last thirty years economists and other social scientists investigated people’s normative views on principles of distributive justice. Here we study people’s normative views in social dilemmas, which underlie many situations of economic and social significance. Using insights from moral philosophy and psychology we provide an analysis of the morality of free riding. We use experimental survey methods to investigate people’s moral judgments empirically. We vary others’ contributions, the framing (“give-some” vs. “take-some”) and whether contributions are simultaneous or sequential. We find that moral judgments depend strongly on others’ behaviour; and that failing to give is condemned more strongly than withdrawing all support.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2009-15.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2009-15

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Keywords: moral judgments; framing effects; public goods experiments; free riding;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Drouvelis, Michalis & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2013. "Are Happier People Less Judgmental of Other People's Selfish Behaviors? Laboratory Evidence from Trust and Gift Exchange Games," IZA Discussion Papers 7495, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Simon Gaechter, 2014. "Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order," CESifo Working Paper Series 4729, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Simon Gächter, 2014. "Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order," Discussion Papers 2014-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Selten, Reinhard & Wiesen, Daniel, 2011. "How payment systems affect physicians' provision behaviour--An experimental investigation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 637-646, July.
  5. Robin P. Cubitt & Michalis Drouvelis & Simon Gächter, 2008. "Framing and Free Riding: Emotional Responses and Punishment in Social Dilemma Games," Discussion Papers 2008-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  6. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2011. "Animal Welfare and Social Decisions," Working Papers in Economics 485, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Tan, Fangfang & Xiao, Erte, 2011. "Peer punishment with third-party approval in a social dilemma game," MPRA Paper 35473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Erte Xiao & Fangfang Tan, 2014. "Justification and Legitimate Punishment," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 170(1), pages 168-188, March.
  9. Godager, Geir & Wiesen, Daniel, 2013. "Profit or patients’ health benefit? Exploring the heterogeneity in physician altruism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1105-1116.
  10. Johannes Abeler & Daniele Nosenzo, 2013. "Self-selection into Economics Experiments is Driven by Monetary Rewards," Discussion Papers 2013-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  11. Alessandro Lanteri, 2010. "A note on the Trolley Problem and Three Weaknesses of Economic Theory," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 500-507.

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