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I Don't Want to Hear About it: Rational Ignorance among Duty-Oriented Consumers

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  • Nyborg, Karine

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

Abstract

Individuals with a preference for keeping moral obligations may dislike learning that voluntary contributions are socially valuable: Such informa- tion can trigger unpleasant feelings of cognitive dissonance. I show that if initial beliefs about the social value of contributions are sufficiently low, duty-oriented consumers are willing to pay to avoid information. Attitude campaigns can increase contributions from such consumers by providing them with unwanted information. Consequentialist warm glow types with low initial beliefs, however, will seek low-cost information on their own initiative; thus, campaigns will have less effects for such consumers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 15/2008.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2008_015

Contact details of provider:
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
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: Voluntary contributions: public goods; responsibility; altruism; information campaigns; cognitive dissonance;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Snorre Kverndokk & Adam Rose, 2008. "Equity and Justice in Global Warming Policy," Working Papers 2008.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Karine Nyborg, 2014. "Social norms, morals and self-interest as determinants of pro-environment behaviour," Working Papers 2014-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  3. Grossman, Zachary & van der Weele, Joël, 2013. "Self-Image and Strategic Ignorance in Moral Dilemmas," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0bp6z29t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.

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