Incentives and Prosocial Behavior
AbstractWe develop a theory of prosocial behavior that combines heterogeneity in individual altruism and greed with concerns for social reputation or self-respect. Rewards or punishments (whether material or image-related) create doubt about the true motive for which good deeds are performed and this "overjustification effect" can induce a partial or even net crowding out of prosocial behavior by extrinsic incentives. We also identify settings that are conducive to multiple social norms and those where disclosing one's generosity may backfire. Finally, we analyze the choice by public and private sponsors of incentive levels, their degree of confidentiality and the publicity given to agents' behavior. Sponsor competition is shown to potentially reduce social welfare.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1695.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2006, 96 (5), 1652-1678
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Other versions of this item:
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," Working Papers 137, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 389, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2006.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-08-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2005-08-13 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2005-08-13 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2005-08-13 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2005-08-13 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-PBE-2005-08-13 (Public Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2005-08-13 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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.:
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