Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

”Thou shalt not covet ...”: Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values

Contents:

Author Info

  • Matteo Cervellati

    (University of Bologna and IZA Bonn)

  • Paolo Vanin

    (University of Bologna)

Abstract

We propose a theory studying temptation in presence of both externally and internally sanctioned prohibitions. Moral values that (internally) sanction prohibited actions and their desire may increase utility by reducing self-control costs, thereby serving as partial commitment devices. We apply the model to crime and study the conditions under which agents would optimally adhere to moral values of honesty. Incentives to be moral are non- monotonic in the crime premium. Larger external punishments increase temptation and demand for morality, so that external and internal sanctions are complements. The model helps rationalizing stylized facts that proved difficult to explain with available theories.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/20104301424314NDL2010-054.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.54.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.54

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Corso Magenta, 63 - 20123 Milan
Phone: 0039-2-52036934
Fax: 0039-2-52036946
Email:
Web page: http://www.feem.it/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Prohibitions; Temptation; Self-Control; Moral Values; Crime;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & JÅ¡rgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  2. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
  3. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2007. "A theory of tolerance," Discussion Papers 2007/13, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  4. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers, Yale - Economic Growth Center 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  6. David S. Lee & Justin McCrary, 2009. "The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 1168, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  7. Laurence Kranich & Matteo Cervellati & Joan Esteban, 2010. "Work Values, Endogenous Sentiments and Redistribution," Discussion Papers 10-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten, 2001. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance," Research Papers in Economics, Stockholm University, Department of Economics 2001:5, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  9. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  10. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2009. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 145-170, 02.
  11. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2010. "Symbolic values, occupational choice, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 237-251, February.
  12. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Aldashev, Gani & Chaara, Imane & Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2012. "Using the law to change the custom," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 182-200.
  14. Furuya, Kaku, 2002. "A socio-economic model of stigma and related social problems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 281-290, July.
  15. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950, August.
  16. Angela K. Dills & Jeffrey A. Miron & Garrett Summers, 2010. "What Do Economists Know about Crime?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 269-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Giorgio Coricelli & Matteus Joffily & Claude Montmarquette & Marie Claire Villeval, 2010. "Cheating, Emotions, and Rationality: An Experiment on Tax Evasion," Post-Print halshs-00462067, HAL.
  18. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  19. Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2009. "Why do parents socialize their children to behave pro-socially? An information-based theory," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1119-1124, December.
  20. Rasmusen, E., 1992. "Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality," Papers, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research 92-019, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  21. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Weibull, Jörgen & Villa, Edgar, 2005. "Crime, punishment and social norms," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 610, Stockholm School of Economics.
  23. Coricelli, Giorgio & Joffily, Mateus & Montmarquette, Claude & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2007. "Tax Evasion: Cheating Rationally or Deciding Emotionally?," IZA Discussion Papers 3103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó, 2009. ""Do the Right Thing:" The Effects of Moral Suasion on Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 15559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  26. Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
  27. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy & Moshe Hoffman, 2011. "Taboos and Identity: Considering the Unthinkable," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 139-64, May.
  28. Ernesto Dal Bó & Marko Terviö, 2008. "Self-Esteem, Moral Capital, and Wrongdoing," NBER Working Papers 14508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
  30. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2112, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  31. Lawrence E. Blume, 2003. "Stigma and Social Control," Game Theory and Information, EconWPA 0312002, EconWPA.
  32. Posner, Richard A, 1997. "Social Norms and the Law: An Economic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 365-69, May.
  33. Davis, Michael L, 1988. "Time and Punishment: An Intertemporal Model of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 383-90, April.
  34. McCrary, Justin & Lee, David S., 2009. "The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics qt2gh1r30h, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  35. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2007. "Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 494-514.
  36. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers, Economics Department, Princeton University 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  37. repec:fth:iniesr:557 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Cervellati, Matteo & Esteban, Joan & Kranich, Laurence, 2010. "Work values, endogenous sentiments redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 612-627, October.
  39. David S. Lee & Justin McCrary, 2009. "The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 1171, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  40. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  41. Funk, Patricia, 2004. "On the effective use of stigma as a crime-deterrent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 715-728, August.
  42. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
  43. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Discussion Papers 2013/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  2. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.
  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.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.