IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ess/wpaper/id12918.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning

Author

Listed:
  • Roland Benabou
  • Armin Falk
  • Jean Tirole

Abstract

The aim of this paper is of course not to answer that immemorial question, but instead to analyze the production and circulation of arguments seeking to justify di§erent courses of action on the basis of morality. Such appeals to notions of ìright or wrongî pervade the social and political discourse, often trumping any argument of economic e¢ ciency (bans on ìimmoralî transactions, trade wars, undeservedness of some group, etc.). And, of course, everyone experiences inner struggles over these issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Benabou & Armin Falk & Jean Tirole, 2018. "Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning," Working Papers id:12918, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:12918
    Note: Institutional Papers
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.esocialsciences.org/Download/repecDownload.aspx?fname=A2018917134737_29.pdf&fcategory=Articles&AId=12918&fref=repec
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kranz, Sebastian, 2010. "Moral norms in a partly compliant society," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 255-274, January.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    3. Feddersen, Timothy & Gailmard, Sean & Sandroni, Alvaro, 2009. "Moral Bias in Large Elections: Theory and Experimental Evidence," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 175-192, May.
    4. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    5. Clot, Sophie & Grolleau, Gilles & Ibanez, Lisette, 2018. "Shall we pay all? An experimental test of Random Incentivized Systems," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 93-98.
    6. Zachary Grossman & Joël J. van der Weele, 2017. "Self-Image and Willful Ignorance in Social Decisions," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 173-217.
    7. Barrera, Oscar & Guriev, Sergei & Henry, Emeric & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2020. "Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    8. Elias, Julio & Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2016. "Efficiency-Morality Trade-Offs in Repugnant Transactions: A Choice Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 10187, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
    10. Francesca Gino & Michael I. Norton & Roberto A. Weber, 2016. "Motivated Bayesians: Feeling Moral While Acting Egoistically," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 189-212, Summer.
    11. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy of Hatred," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86.
    12. Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 577-619.
    13. Edward P. Lazear & Ulrike Malmendier & Roberto A. Weber, 2012. "Sorting in Experiments with Application to Social Preferences," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 136-163, January.
    14. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950.
    15. Dan M. Kahan, 2013. "Ideology, motivated reasoning, and cognitive reflection," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(4), pages 407-424, July.
    16. An, Mark Yuying, 1998. "Logconcavity versus Logconvexity: A Complete Characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-369, June.
    17. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    18. Mead, N.L. & Baumeister, R.F. & Gino, F. & Schweitzer, M.E. & Ariely, D., 2009. "Too tired to tell the truth : Self-control resource depletion and dishonesty," Other publications TiSEM c60167a3-c3aa-4b83-9192-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    19. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    20. J. Michelle Brock & Andreas Lange & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2013. "Dictating the Risk: Experimental Evidence on Giving in Risky Environments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 415-437, February.
    21. Manuel Foerster & Joel (J.J.) van der Weele, 2018. "Denial and Alarmism in Collective Action Problems," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-019/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    22. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    23. Battaglini, Marco & Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Self-control in peer groups," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 105-134, August.
    24. Hare, R. M., 1993. "Could Kant Have been A Utilitarian?," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-16, May.
    25. Galeotti, Andrea & Ghiglino, Christian & Squintani, Francesco, 2013. "Strategic information transmission networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(5), pages 1751-1769.
    26. Russell Golman & George Loewenstein & Karl Ove Moene & Luca Zarri, 2016. "The Preference for Belief Consonance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 165-188, Summer.
    27. John R. Hamman & George Loewenstein & Roberto A. Weber, 2010. "Self-Interest through Delegation: An Additional Rationale for the Principal-Agent Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1826-1846, September.
    28. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
    29. Whiteman, G.M. & Phillips, N., 2006. "The Role of Narrative Fiction and Semi-Fiction in Organizational Studies," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-079-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    30. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
    31. David Dillenberger & Philipp Sadowski, 2008. "Ashamed to be Selfish," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-037, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    32. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2012. "Reconciling pro-social vs. selfish behavior: On the role of self-control," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(3), pages 304-315, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Economics after COVID-19
      by Francesc Trillas in Real Progress on 2020-04-26 20:25:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Barrera, Oscar & Guriev, Sergei & Henry, Emeric & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2020. "Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    2. Falk, Armin, 2021. "Facing yourself – A note on self-image," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 724-734.
    3. Joshua Schwartzstein & Adi Sunderam, 2021. "Using Models to Persuade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(1), pages 276-323, January.
    4. Charles Bellemare & Marvin Deversi & Florian Englmaier, 2019. "Complexity and Distributive Fairness Interact in Affecting Compliance Behavior," CESifo Working Paper Series 7899, CESifo.
    5. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher & Wohlfart. Johannes, 2020. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2020. "A Model of Competing Narratives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(12), pages 3786-3816, December.
    7. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Xue, Melanie Meng, 2019. "Folklore," CEPR Discussion Papers 13425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Ash, Elliott & Chen, Daniel L. & Lu, Wei, 2018. "Motivated Reasoning in the Field: Partisanship in Precedent, Prose, Vote, and Retirement in U.S. Circuit Courts, 1800-2013," TSE Working Papers 18-976, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    9. Jeanne Hagenbach & Frédéric Koessler, 2021. "Selective Memory of a Psychological Agent," Working Papers halshs-03151009, HAL.
    10. Peter Schwardmann & Egon Tripodi & Joël J. van der Weele, 2019. "Self-Persuasion: Evidence from Field Experiments at Two International Debating Competitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 7946, CESifo.
    11. Hestermann, Nina & Le Yaouanq, Yves & Treich, Nicolas, 2020. "An economic model of the meat paradox," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    12. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant, 2018. "It's Not A Lie If You Believe It. Lying and Belief Distortion Under Norm-Uncertainty," PPE Working Papers 0012, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    13. Ganga Shreedhar & Susana Mourato, 2020. "Linking Human Destruction of Nature to COVID-19 Increases Support for Wildlife Conservation Policies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(4), pages 963-999, August.
    14. Gneezy, Uri & Saccardo, Silvia & Serra-Garcia, Marta & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2020. "Bribing the Self," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 311-324.
    15. Matthias Lang, 2020. "Mechanism Design with Narratives," CESifo Working Paper Series 8502, CESifo.
    16. Manuel Foerster & Joel (J.J.) van der Weele, 2018. "Denial and Alarmism in Collective Action Problems," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-019/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Goette, Lorenz & Tripodi, Egon, 2020. "Does positive feedback of social impact motivate prosocial behavior? A field experiment with blood donors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 1-8.
    18. Schmidt, Robert & Schwieren, Christiane & Vollmann, Martin, 2020. "The value of verbal feedback in allocation decisions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    19. Christoph Rössler & Tim Friehe, 2020. "Liability, morality, and image concerns in product accidents with third parties," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 295-312, October.
    20. Gary E. Bolton & Eugen Dimant & Ulrich Schmidt, 2020. "When a Nudge Backfires: Combining (Im)Plausible Deniability with Social and Economic Incentives to Promote Behavioral Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 8070, CESifo.
    21. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant & Silvia Sonderegger, 2020. "It's Not a Lie If You Believe the Norm Does Not Apply: Conditional Norm-Following with Strategic Beliefs," CESifo Working Paper Series 8059, CESifo.
    22. Pier Luigi Sacco, 2020. "‘There are more things in heaven and earth…’ A ‘narrative turn’ in economics?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 44(1), pages 173-183, March.
    23. Manuel Foerster & Joel (J.J.) van der Weele, 2018. "Persuasion, justification and the communication of social impact," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-067/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    24. Adrian Hillenbrand & Eugenio Verrina, 2018. "The differential effect of narratives prosocial behavior," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2018_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jun 2020.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bracha, Anat & Vesterlund, Lise, 2017. "Mixed signals: Charity reporting when donations signal generosity and income," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 24-42.
    2. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Christine L. Exley, 2020. "Using Charity Performance Metrics as an Excuse Not to Give," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(2), pages 553-563, February.
    4. Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Comportements (non) éthiques et stratégies morales," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 70(6), pages 1021-1046.
    5. Garcia, Thomas & Massoni, Sébastien & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2020. "Ambiguity and excuse-driven behavior in charitable giving," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    6. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2013. "Experimental evidence of self-image concerns as motivation for giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 19-27.
    7. Christine L. Exley & Judd B. Kessler, 2017. "Motivated Errors," Harvard Business School Working Papers 18-017, Harvard Business School, revised May 2018.
    8. Anat Bracha & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How low can you go? Charity reporting when donations signal income and generosity," Working Papers 13-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    9. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2020. "Belief-Dependent Motivations and Psychological Game Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 8285, CESifo.
    10. Danae Arroyos-Calvera & Rebecca McDonald & Daniel Read & Bruce Rigal, 2020. "Unpacking moral wiggle room: Information preferences and not information itself predict generosity," Discussion Papers 20-19, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    11. Andreoni, James & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2021. "Time inconsistent charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    12. Hestermann, Nina & Le Yaouanq, Yves & Treich, Nicolas, 2020. "An economic model of the meat paradox," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    13. Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2012. "‘Hiding behind a small cake’ in a newspaper dictator game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 82-85.
    14. Dimant, Eugen, 2015. "On Peer Effects: Behavioral Contagion of (Un)Ethical Behavior and the Role of Social Identity," MPRA Paper 68732, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Tobias Regner, 2018. "Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: Is it a preference or a constraint?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 779-792, December.
    16. Rustichini, Aldo & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Moral hypocrisy, power and social preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 10-24.
    17. Name-Correa, Alvaro J. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2016. "“Giving” in to social pressure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 99-116.
    18. Exley, Christine L. & Petrie, Ragan, 2018. "The impact of a surprise donation ask," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 152-167.
    19. David Klinowski, 2021. "Reluctant donors and their reactions to social information," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 515-535, June.
    20. Yann Algan & Yochai Benkler & Mayo Fuster Morell & Jerome Hergueux, 2013. "Cooperation in Peer-Production Economy: Experimental Evidence from Wikipedia," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5ulf84sluc9, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    eSS; narratives; imperatives; moral reasoning; immemorial question; production; circulation of argument; morality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:12918. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.esocialsciences.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Padma Prakash (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.esocialsciences.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.