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Paternalism With Hindsight Do protégés react consequentialistically to paternalism?

Author

Listed:
  • Mitesh Kataria

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, and University of Verona)

  • Matthias Uhl

    (Technical University of Munich)

Abstract

We investigate experimentally whether the protégés' reaction to paternalism depends on the consequences of the paternalistic action to their well-being. We find that protégé punish a paternalist restricting their freedom of choice. Yet, this negative reaction is not based on principled grounds because, with hindsight, protégés punish the paternalist only if the restriction makes them worse off. Conversely, if the restriction makes them better off, the protégé on average do not punish and, sometimes, they even reward the paternalist. This suggests that protégés take a consequentialist stand on paternalism. Controlling for intentions ascribed to the patron does not alter our finding.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitesh Kataria & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Uhl, 2012. "Paternalism With Hindsight Do protégés react consequentialistically to paternalism?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-050, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-050
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lukasz Wozny & Michal Krawczyk, 2016. "An experiment on temptation and attitude towards paternalism," Working Papers 2016-018, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Paternalism; Consequentialism; Value of freedom; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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