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The Effects of Moral Licensing and Moral Cleansing in Contingent Valuation and Laboratory Experiments on the Demand to Reduce Externalities

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Ho

    () (Vassar College)

  • John Taber

    (FERC)

  • Gregory Poe

    (Cornell University)

  • Antonio Bento

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

Recent field experiments show that peer information can induce people to reduce their production of negative externalities. Related work in psychology demonstrates that inducing feelings of relative culpability in one domain can induce spillover pro-social behavior in another domain. We use a contingent valuation and parallel lab experiment to explore patterns of cross-domain responses to norm-based interventions. Asymmetric responses between those whose impacts are above or below the norm are found to be robust across decision settings. Substantial heterogeneity in responses is observed across a number of dimensions not explored in large field experiments, raising questions about the universality of peer-information effects and the design of such programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Ho & John Taber & Gregory Poe & Antonio Bento, 2016. "The Effects of Moral Licensing and Moral Cleansing in Contingent Valuation and Laboratory Experiments on the Demand to Reduce Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(2), pages 317-340, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:64:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-014-9872-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-014-9872-y
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    2. Serhiy Kandul & Bruno Lanz, 2018. "When within- and outgroup norms conflict: A public good experiment with strategic ignorance of social norms," IRENE Working Papers 18-06, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Dütschke, Elisabeth & Frondel, Manuel & Schleich, Joachim & Vance, Colin, 2018. "Moral licensing: Another source of rebound?," Ruhr Economic Papers 747, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Thunström, Linda & Gilbert, Ben & Ritten, Chian Jones, 2018. "Nudges that hurt those already hurting – distributional and unintended effects of salience nudges," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 267-282.

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