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I don't want to hear about it: Rational ignorance among duty-oriented consumers

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  • Nyborg, Karine

Abstract

Individuals with a preference for keeping moral obligations may dislike learning that voluntary contributions are socially valuable: such information can trigger unpleasant feelings of cognitive dissonance. I show that if the initial belief about the social value of contributions is too low to merit a moral responsibility to contribute, duty-oriented consumers are willing to pay to avoid information. Information campaigns can make such consumers contribute by providing them with unwanted information.

Suggested Citation

  • Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "I don't want to hear about it: Rational ignorance among duty-oriented consumers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 263-274, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:3:p:263-274
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voluntary contributions Public goods Responsibility Altruism Information campaigns Cognitive dissonance;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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