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Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility

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  • Benabou, Roland

    ()
    (Princeton University)

  • Tirole, Jean

    ()
    (IDEI)

Abstract

Society's demands for individual and corporate social responsibility as an alternative response to market and distributive failures are becoming increasingly prominent. We first draw on recent developments in the "psychology and economics" of prosocial behavior to shed light on this trend, which reflects a complex interplay of genuine altruism, social or self image concerns, and material incentives. We then link individual concerns to corporate social responsibility, contrasting three possible understandings of the term: the adoption of a more long-term perspective by firms, the delegated exercise of prosocial behavior on behalf of stakeholders, and insider-initiated corporate philanthropy. For both individuals and firms we discuss the benefits, costs and limits of socially responsible behavior as a means to further societal goals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4570.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Economica, 2010, 77 (305) , 1-19.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4570

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Keywords: image concerns; socially responsible investment; corporate social responsibility; shareholder value;

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  1. Robert N. Stavins & Forest L. Reinhardt & Richard H. K. Vietor, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility Through an Economic Lens," Working Papers 2008.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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  17. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2007. "Retailing public goods: The economics of corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1645-1663, September.
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  19. Markus Kitzmueller, 2008. "Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/37, European University Institute.
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