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Prosocial Behavior and Policy Spillovers: A Multi-Activity Approach

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  • Ek, Claes

    (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

Observing that people who wish to engage in prosocial behavior are often presented with more than one means to the same end, we develop a model in which agents may contribute to a single public good through a range of different activities. We use this model to make two points. First, noting that effort on one activity has been argued to reduce (moral licensing) as well as increase (moral consistency) effort on other activities, we derive sufficient conditions under which policy to facilitate one activity partially crowds out effort on other activities. Second, we use an example to argue that a given single-activity model may be extended to multiple activities in several alternative ways, and that not all generalizations need reproduce the ideas and results of the original model; in general, careful thinking is needed to determine which multi-activity model is appropriate.

Suggested Citation

  • Ek, Claes, 2015. "Prosocial Behavior and Policy Spillovers: A Multi-Activity Approach," Working Papers 2015:26, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 11 Sep 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2015_026
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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/wp15_26.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public goods; prosocial behavior; moral licensing; self-image;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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