Cooperation, reciprocity and self-esteem: A theoretical approach
AbstractCooperation occurs even where it is not predicted by economic theory, owing to what is widely recognized as too narrow a conception of self-interest. In particular, relying on plenty of experimental evidence, it has been maintained that agents adopt such a strong reciprocity rules in their behavior as make it worthwhile to punish those who defect or do not act fairly, costly though as this may be. We propose to lay the analytical foundation of such behavior – and more generally to cooperation-proneness – by considering self-esteem. Agents may include self-esteem in their utility (or goal) function and actually produce or destroy self-esteem through their behavior. This amounts to introducing a moral system in individual behavior in such a way as to make it amenable to rational maximization. We also show how the impact of self-esteem on the best contract in Principal-Agents situations and how such impact differs in Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection situations.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena in its series Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena with number 007.
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
self-esteem; reciprocity; motivation; incentive; agency.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-01-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2008-01-05 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2008-01-05 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2008-01-05 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2008-01-05 (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.:
- Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006.
"Incentives and Prosocial Behavior,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
- Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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..
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000.
"The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity,"
UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers
2000-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005.
"Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 699-746, May.
- Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," Papers 08-15-2005a, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
- Jean Tirole & Roland Benabou, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," 2004 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," NBER Working Papers 11208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gintis, Herbert, 2004. "Modeling cooperation among self-interested agents: a critique," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 695-714, December.
- Marcello Basili & Cristina Duranti & Maurizio Franzini, 2004. "Networks, Trust and Institutional Complementarities," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(1), pages 159-180, January-F.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997.
"Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
- Marcello Basili & Antonio Nicita & Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2008. "Contracts and Motivations. The Case of Open Source," Department of Economics University of Siena 544, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlo Zappia).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.