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Reluctant Recyclers: Social Interaction in Responsibility Ascription

  • Brekke, Kjell Arne

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Kipperberg, Gorm

    ()

    (Colorado State University)

  • Nyborg, Karine

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Several studies have demonstrated that individual contributions to public goods are increasing in others’ contributions. The underlying causes for this, however, are not yet fully understood. We present a model of duty-orientation in which moral responsibility is learned through observations of others’ behavior. Since, in our model, responsibility is a burden, we hypothesize that individuals will be reluctant to accept responsibility based on uncertain information. Econometric analysis of data from a survey on households’ glass recycling indicates that perceived responsibility is a major determinant for reported recycling; that responsibility ascription is influenced by beliefs about others’ behavior; and that people are indeed reluctant to accept responsibility based on uncertain information.

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File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2007/Memo-16-2007.pdf
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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 16/2007.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 02 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2007_016
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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  2. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
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  6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Don Fullerton & Thomas C. Kinnaman, 1994. "Household Responses for Pricing Garbage by the Bag," NBER Working Papers 4670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Nyborg, Karine & Howarth, Richard B. & Brekke, Kjell Arne, 2006. "Green consumers and public policy: On socially contingent moral motivation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 351-366, November.
  10. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  12. Berrens, Robert P. & Bohara, Alok K. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank & Silva, Carol L. & Ganderton, Philip & Brookshire, David, 1998. "A joint investigation of public support and public values: case of instream flows in New Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 189-203, November.
  13. 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.
  14. Jenkins, Robin R. & Martinez, Salvador A. & Palmer, Karen & Podolsky, Michael J., 2003. "The determinants of household recycling: a material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 294-318, March.
  15. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
  16. Mari Rege, 2004. "Social Norms and Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(1), pages 65-77, 02.
  17. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Bohara, Alok K. & Caplan, Arthur J. & Grijalva, Therese, 2007. "The effect of experience and quantity-based pricing on the valuation of a curbside recycling program," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 433-443, December.
  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 464-77, June.
  20. Annegrete Bruvoll & Karine Nyborg, 2004. "The Cold Shiver of Not Giving Enough: On the Social Cost of Recycling Campaigns," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(4).
  21. Morris Glenn E. & Holthausen Jr. Duncan M., 1994. "The Economics of Household Solid Waste Generation and Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 215-234, May.
  22. Gorm Kipperberg, 2007. "A Comparison of Household Recycling Behaviors in Norway and the United States," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 215-235, February.
  23. Konow, James, 2006. "Mixed Feelings: Theories and Evidence of Warm Glow and Altruism," MPRA Paper 2727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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