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Self-Licensing and Financial Rewards: Is Morality For Sale?

Author

Listed:
  • Sophie Clot

    (LAMETA, UMR 1135, Montpellier Supagro)

  • Gilles Grolleau

    (LAMETA, UMR 1135, Montpellier Supagro - LESSAC, Burgundy School of Business)

  • Lisette Ibanez

    (LAMETA, UMR 1135, INRA)

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of financially rewarding good deeds on self-licensing. We run a between-subjects experiment comprised of an adapted dictator game preceded by paid and unpaid pro-environmental tasks. We find that prefacing the dictator game with an unpaid good deed seems to establish a 'moral rectitude' which licenses subsequent selfish behaviour, whereas a paid good deed dampens this effect. Interestingly, the nature of the initial task has more of an effect on the binary option (give vs. not give) than on the amount donated.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Clot & Gilles Grolleau & Lisette Ibanez, 2013. "Self-Licensing and Financial Rewards: Is Morality For Sale?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2298-2306.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00385
    as

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2013/Volume33/EB-13-V33-I3-P215.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tiefenbeck, Verena & Staake, Thorsten & Roth, Kurt & Sachs, Olga, 2013. "For better or for worse? Empirical evidence of moral licensing in a behavioral energy conservation campaign," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 160-171.
    2. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-735, May.
    3. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    4. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Bucheli, Marisa & Paz Espinosa, María & García-Muñoz, Teresa, 2013. "Moral Cleansing And Moral Licenses: Experimental Evidence," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 199-212, July.
    5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Mathex & Lisette Ibanez & Raphaële Préget, 2023. "Distinguishing economic and moral compensation in the rebound effect: A theoretical and experimental approach," Working Papers hal-04071161, HAL.
    2. Zhe Zhang & Siyu Peng, 2022. "Licensing Effect in Sustainable Charitable Behaviors," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(24), pages 1-16, December.
    3. Alt, Marius & Gallier, Carlo, 2022. "Incentives and intertemporal behavioral spillovers: A two-period experiment on charitable giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 959-972.
    4. Sophie Clot & Gilles Grolleau & Lisette Ibanez, 2014. "An experimental analysis from a taking game in Madagascar," Working Papers 14-02, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jan 2014.
    5. Schumacher, Anika & Goukens, Caroline & Geyskens, Kelly, 2021. "Taking care of you and me: How choosing for others impacts self-indulgence within family caregiving relationships," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 715-731.
    6. Alt, Marius & Gallier, Carlo, 2021. "Incentives and intertemporal behavioral spillovers: A two-period experiment on charitable giving," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-010, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. Gallier, Carlo & Reif, Christiane & Römer, Daniel, 2017. "Repeated pro-social behavior in the presence of economic interventions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 18-28.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self licensing; financial rewards; pro-environmental behaviour; behavioural experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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