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The Limit of Public Policy: Endogenous Preferences

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  • Bar-Gill, O.
  • Fershtman, C.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

In designing public policy it is not enough to consider the possible reaction of individuals to the chosen policy.Public policy may also affect the formation of preferences and norms in a society.The endogenous evolution of preferences, in addition to introducing a conceptual difficulty in evaluating policies, may also eventually affect actual behavior.In order to demonstrate the implications of endogenous preferences on the design of optimal public policy, we present a model in which a subsidy policy is set to encourage contributions towards a public good.However this policy triggers an endogenous preference change that results in a lower level of contribution towards the public good despite the explicit monetary incentives to raise that level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2000-71.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200071

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Keywords: public policy;

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  5. Fershtman, Chaim & Weiss, Yoram, 1998. "Social rewards, externalities and stable preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 53-73, October.
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  8. Bester, H. & Güth, W., 1994. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable ?," Discussion Paper 1994-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Basu, Kaushik, 1995. "Civil institutions and evolution: Concepts, critique and models," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 19-33, February.
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  12. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Aviad Heifetz & Chris Shannon & Yossi Spiegel, 2003. "What to Maximize If You Must," Game Theory and Information 0303002, EconWPA.
  2. Fali Huang, 2003. "Social Trust, Cooperation, and Human Capital," Working Papers 01-2004, Singapore Management University, School of Economics, revised Jan 2004.
  3. G Th, Werner & Ockenfels, Axel, 2005. "The coevolution of morality and legal institutions: an indirect evolutionary approach," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 155-174, December.
  4. Aviad Heifetz & Ella Segev & Eric Talley, . "Market Design with Endogenous Preferences," University of Southern California Legal Working Paper Series usclwps-1001, University of Southern California Law School.
  5. Janssen, Maarten C. W. & Mendys-Kamphorst, Ewa, 2004. "The price of a price: on the crowding out and in of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 377-395, November.
  6. Heifetz, Aviad & Shannon, Chris & Spiegel, Yossi, 2002. "What to Maximize If You Must," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0hj6631n, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Ewa Mendys, 2001. "The Price of a Price: On the Crowding out of Social Norms," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-065/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Heifetz, Aviad & Segev, Ella & Talley, Eric, 2007. "Market design with endogenous preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 121-153, January.
  9. Aviad Heifetz & Chris Shannon & Yossi Spiegel, 2005. "The Dynamic Evolution of Preferences," Discussion Papers 1415, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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