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Moral Outrage

Listed author(s):
  • Elias Khalil

In March 2005, riots erupted in South Korea against Japan for claiming sovereignty over two small uninhabitable rocky islets (0.23 km2) which are equidistanced from South Korea and Japan. In February 2005, riots did not erupt in South Korea against North Korea for announcing it has nuclear weapons. How can we explain moral outrage in one case, where expected net benefit is miniscule, and the lack thereof in the other, where net expected benefit is huge? The paper constructs a forward-looking ???fight-or-fight??? model. The model, though, fails to explain moral outrage: There is no morality in the model to start with. As an alternative, the paper constructs two models: ???quarrel-or-reconcile??? and ???resist-or-submit.??? Both models incorporate the role of national identity. The models succeed to explain moral outrage and the lack thereof depending on the context.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2006/0706moraloutrage.pdf
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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 07/06.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 03 Apr 2006
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2006-07
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Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia

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Fax: +61-3-9905-5476
Web page: http://business.monash.edu/economics
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  1. Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
  2. Etzioni, Amitai, 1986. "The Case for a Multiple-Utility Conception," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 159-184, October.
  3. Khalil, Elias L., 1999. "Sentimental fools: a critique of Amartya Sen's notion of commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 373-386, December.
  4. Elias Khalil, 2001. "The context problematic, behavioral economics and the transactional view: an introduction to 'John Dewey and economic theory'," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 107-130.
  5. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  6. Elias Khalil, 2006. "Weakness Of Will," Monash Economics Working Papers 06/06, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  7. Khalil, Elias L., 1996. "Respect, admiration, aggrandizement: Adam Smith as economic psychologist," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 555-577, November.
  8. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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