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"Thou Shalt Not Covet ...": Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values

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Author Info

  • Cervellati, Matteo

    ()
    (University of Bologna)

  • Vanin, Paolo

    ()
    (University of Bologna)

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of the relationship between prohibitions and temptation. In presence of self-control problems, moral values may increase individual material welfare (and utility) by serving as a self-commitment device. The model investigates the relationship between morality and temptation, the individual gains from morality, the interaction between external sanctions and moral self-punishment and the spread and strength of individually optimal moral values. The empirical analysis, based on survey data for a large set of countries, documents a hump-shaped pattern of morality in social class, which supports the theoretical predictions of the model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7334.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2013, 103, 15-28
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7334

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Keywords: crime; moral values; prohibitions; temptation; self-control;

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References

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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, 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.

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