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Social Preferences and Public Economics: Are good laws a substitute for good citizens?

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  • Samuel Bowles

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    (Santa Fe Institute, University of Siena and University of Massachusetts)

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    Abstract

    Laws and policies designed to harness self-regarding preferences to public ends may fail when they compromise the beneficial effects of pro-social preferences. Experimental evidence indicates that incentives that appeal to self interest may reduce the salience of intrinsic motivation, reciprocity, and other civic motives. Motivational crowding in also occurs. The evidence for these processes is reviewed and a model of optimal explicit incentives is presented. JEL Categories: D64, D52, H41, H21, Z13, C92

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2007-04.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
    Date of revision: Mar 2008
    Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2007-04

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    Keywords: Social preferences; implementation theory; incentive contracts; incomplete contracts; framing; behavioral experiments; motivational crowding out; ethical norms; constitutions;

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    Cited by:
    1. Bernasconi, Michele & Corazzini, Luca & Marenzi, Anna, 2013. "‘Expressive’ obligations in public good games: Crowding-in and crowding-out effects," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 13-24.

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