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

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  • 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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Citations

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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," 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.
  3. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.

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