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The Emotional Consequences of Pro-social Behavior in Markets

Author

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  • Toke Fosgaard

    () (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

Pro-social behavior made when buying private goods is becoming increasingly popular. Several findings from behavioral and experimental economics however emphasizes that people are less pro-social in such situations, compared to pro-social decisions in non-market contexts. This paper suggests that emotional responses are important explanations of this finding. It is first argued that the emotional response to a pro-social decision combined with private good purchase is different from the response to a similar decision in a non-market situation. Through evidence from a laboratory experiment, it is then found, that deciding on a social choice in a market exchange involves a less positive emotional reaction to others, compared to non-market situations. Moreover, subjects in market contexts are found to be less responsive to other subjects’ contribution behavior, relative to the non-market contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Toke Fosgaard, 2011. "The Emotional Consequences of Pro-social Behavior in Markets," IFRO Working Paper 2012/1, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2012_1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emotions; market exchange; pro-social behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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