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Market Design and Moral Behavior

Listed author(s):
  • Kirchler, Michael

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Huber, Jürgen

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Stefan, Matthias

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Sutter, Matthias

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

In an experiment with 739 subjects we study whether and how different interventions might have an influence on the degree of moral behavior when subjects make decisions that can generate negative externalities on uninvolved parties. Particularly, subjects can either take money for themselves or donate it to UNICEF for measles vaccines. By considering two fairly different institutional regimes – one with individual decision making, one with a double-auction market – we expose the different interventions to a kind of robustness check. We find that the threat of monetary punishment promotes moral behavior in both regimes. Getting subjects more involved with the traded good has no effect, though, in both regimes. Only the removal of anonymity, thus making subjects identifiable, has different effects across regimes, which we explain by different perceptions of responsibility.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8973.

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Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8973
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  1. 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.
  2. McCloskey, Deirdre N., 2006. "The Bourgeois Virtues," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226556635, April.
  3. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  4. Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Does Competition Destroy Ethical Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 414-418, May.
  5. Björn Bartling & Roberto A. Weber & Lan Yao, 2015. "Do Markets Erode Social Responsibility?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 219-266.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Alvin E. Roth, 2002. "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1341-1378, July.
  8. Bolton, Gary E. & Ockenfels, Axel, 2012. "Behavioral economic engineering," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 665-676.
  9. Leibbrandt, Andreas & López-Pérez, Raúl, 2012. "An exploration of third and second party punishment in ten simple games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 753-766.
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