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Reluctant Recyclers: Social Interaction in Responsibility Ascription

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Author Info

  • Brekke, Kjell Arne

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Kipperberg, Gorm

    ()
    (Colorado State University)

  • Nyborg, Karine

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

Several studies have demonstrated that individual contributions to public goods are increasing in others’ contributions. The underlying causes for this, however, are not yet fully understood. We present a model of duty-orientation in which moral responsibility is learned through observations of others’ behavior. Since, in our model, responsibility is a burden, we hypothesize that individuals will be reluctant to accept responsibility based on uncertain information. Econometric analysis of data from a survey on households’ glass recycling indicates that perceived responsibility is a major determinant for reported recycling; that responsibility ascription is influenced by beliefs about others’ behavior; and that people are indeed reluctant to accept responsibility based on uncertain information.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 16/2007.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 02 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2007_016

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Keywords: Voluntary contributions; duty-orientation; recycling; joint FIML estimation;

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References

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  1. Nyborg, Karine & Howarth, Richard B. & Brekke, Kjell Arne, 2006. "Green consumers and public policy: On socially contingent moral motivation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 351-366, November.
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  17. Konow, James, 2006. "Mixed Feelings: Theories and Evidence of Warm Glow and Altruism," MPRA Paper 2727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  22. Jenkins, Robin R. & Martinez, Salvador A. & Palmer, Karen & Podolsky, Michael J., 2003. "The determinants of household recycling: a material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 294-318, March.
  23. Berrens, Robert P. & Bohara, Alok K. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank & Silva, Carol L. & Ganderton, Philip & Brookshire, David, 1998. "A joint investigation of public support and public values: case of instream flows in New Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 189-203, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kjell Arne Brekke & Gorm Kipperberg & Karine Nyborg, 2010. "Social Interaction in Responsibility Ascription: The Case of Household Recycling," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 766-784.
  2. Grazia Cecere & Susanna Mancinelli & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2013. "Waste Prevention and Social Preferences: The Role of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations," Working Papers 2013.44, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Barile, L., 2012. "The Impact of Governmental Signals on Environmental Morale : a 'behavioural' approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 32984, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
  4. Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Environmental Policy Theory Given Bounded Rationality and Other-regarding Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 263-304, June.

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