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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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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alessandro Lanteri, 2010. "A note on the Trolley Problem and Three Weaknesses of Economic Theory," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 500-507.
  2. 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.
  3. Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Reinhard Selten & Daniel Wiesen, 2011. "How Payment Systems Affect Physicians' Provision Behaviour – An Experimental Investigation," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse03_2011, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. 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).
  5. Abeler, Johannes & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2013. "Self-Selection into Economics Experiments Is Driven by Monetary Rewards," IZA Discussion Papers 7374, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Godager, Geir & Wiesen, Daniel, 2011. "Profit or Patients' Health Benefit? Exploring the Heterogeneity in Physician Altruism," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2011:7, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  7. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2011. "Animal Welfare and Social Decisions," Working Papers in Economics 485, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  8. Fangfang Tan & Erte Xiao, 2011. "Peer Punishment with Third-Party Approval in a Social Dilemma Game," Working Papers peer_punishment_with_thir, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  9. Xiao, Erte & Tan, Fangfang, 2013. "Justification and Legitimate Punishment," MPRA Paper 47154, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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