IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy

  • Samuel Bowles

    ()

    (Santa Fe Institute, University of Siena, and University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Sandra Polanía Reyes

    ()

    (University of Siena)

Registered author(s):

    Policies and explicit incentives designed for self-regarding individuals sometimes are less effective or even counterproductive when they diminish altruism, ethical norms and other social preferences. Evidence from 51 experimental studies indicates that this crowding out effect is pervasive, and that crowding in also occurs. A model in which self-regarding and social preferences may be either substitutes or complements is developed and evidence for the mechanisms underlying this non-additivity feature of preferences is provided. The result is a preference-based analogue to the Lucas Critique restricting feasible implementation to allocations that are supportable given the effect of incentives on preferences. JEL Categories: D64, H41, D78, Z13, C90

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.umass.edu/economics/publications/2009-11.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2009-11.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Sep 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2009-11
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Thompson Hall, Amherst, MA 01003

    Phone: (413)545-2590
    Fax: (413)545-2921
    Web page: http://www.umass.edu/economics
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Fehr, Ernst & Klein, Alexander & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005. "Fairness and Contract Design," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 67, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. Henry J. Aaron, 1994. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Public Policy, Values, and Consciousness," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 3-21, Spring.
    3. Astrid Hopfensitz & Ernesto Reuben, 2005. "The Importance of Emotions for the Effectiveness of Social Punishment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-075/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 28 Mar 2006.
    4. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    5. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," Post-Print hal-00173700, HAL.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    7. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
    8. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2008. "The appearance of homo rivalis: Social preferences and the nature of rent seeking," Discussion Papers 2008-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. Jeffery Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2006. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0616, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    11. Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Working Papers in Economics 180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
    12. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
    13. Rigdon, Mary, 2005. "Trust and reciprocity in incentive contracting," MPRA Paper 2007, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 May 2006.
    14. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie Claire Villeval, 2002. "Monetary and non Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00176878, HAL.
    15. Jeremy Ginges & Scott Atran & Douglas Medin & Khalil Shikaki, 2007. "Sacred bounds on the rational resolution of violent political conflict," Post-Print ijn_00505179, HAL.
    16. Heifetz, Aviad & Segev, Ella & Talley, Eric, 2007. "Market design with endogenous preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 121-153, January.
    17. Daniel Houser & Erte Xiao & Kevin McCabe & Vernon Smith, 2005. "When punishment fails: Research on sanctions, intentions and non- cooperation," Experimental 0503001, EconWPA.
    18. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    19. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
    20. Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2008. "Obligations and cooperative behaviour in public good games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 146-170, September.
    21. Iris Bohnet & Bruno S. Frey & Steffen Huck, . "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," IEW - Working Papers 052, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    22. Abigail Barr & Chris Wallace & Jean Ensminger & Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2009. "Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005427, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    23. David Dickinson & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2005. "Does Monitoring Decrease Work Effort? The Complementarity Between Agency and Crowding-Out Theories," Working Papers 05-12, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    24. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
    25. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2000. "Local Environmental Control and Institutional Crowding-Out," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1719-1733, October.
    26. Danila Serra, 2008. "Combining Top-down and Bottom-up Accountability: Evidence from a Bribery Experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-25, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    27. Maria Alejandra Vélez & John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy, 2005. "What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field," Working Papers 2005-4, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    28. Maria Claudia Lopez & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon & John K. Stranlund, 2012. "Does Government Regulation Complement Existing Community Efforts to Support Cooperation? Evidence from Field Experiments in Colombia," Working Papers 2012-05, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
    29. Georg Borges & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2007. "Fairness Crowded Out by Law: An Experimental Study on Withdrawal Rights," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 84-101, March.
    30. Falkinger, Josef, 1996. "Efficient private provision of public goods by rewarding deviations from average," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 413-422, November.
    31. Stanca, Luca & Bruni, Luigino & Corazzini, Luca, 2009. "Testing theories of reciprocity: Do motivations matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 233-245, August.
    32. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    33. Laurence Kranich & Matteo Cervellati & Joan Esteban, 2010. "Work Values, Endogenous Sentiments and Redistribution," Discussion Papers 10-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    34. Jian Li & Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser & P. Read Montague, 2009. "Neural Responses to Sanction Threats in Two-Party Economic Exchange," Working Papers 1012, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    35. H. Peyton Young & Mary A. Burke, 2001. "Competition and Custom in Economic Contracts: A Case Study of Illinois Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 559-573, June.
    36. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    37. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2007. "Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially," Working Papers 07-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    38. Seabright Paul B, 2009. "Continuous Preferences and Discontinuous Choices: How Altruists Respond to Incentives," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, April.
    39. Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd & Samuel Bowles & Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr & Herbert Gintis & Richard McElreath & Michael Alvard & Abigail Barr & Jean Ensminger & Kim Hill & Francisco Gil-White & Micha, 2001. "Economic Man in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," Working Papers 01-11-063, Santa Fe Institute.
    40. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
    41. Ernst Fehr & John A. List, 2004. "The Hidden Costs and Returns of Incentives-Trust and Trustworthiness Among CEOs," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 743-771, 09.
    42. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2005. "Incentives, Decision Frames, and Motivation Crowding Out – An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 1758, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    43. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
    44. Stephan Meier, 2006. "Do subsidies increase charitable giving in the long run?: matching donations in a field experiment," Working Papers 06-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    45. Carlos Rodríguez-Sickert & Ricardo Andrés Guzmán & Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2006. "Institutions Influence Preferences: Evidence From A Common Pool Resource Experiment," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002890, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    46. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, . "Do People Behave in Experiments as in the Field? � Evidence from Donations," IEW - Working Papers 248, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    47. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    48. Samuel Bowles & Sung Ha Hwang, 2008. "Social Preferences and Public Economics: Mechanism design when social preferences depend on incentives," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2008-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    49. Schotter, Andrew & Weiss, Avi & Zapater, Inigo, 1996. "Fairness and survival in ultimatum and dictatorship games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 37-56, October.
    50. Chaim Fershtman & Aviad Heifetz, 2006. "Read My Lips, Watch for Leaps: Preference Equilibrium and Political Instability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 246-265, 01.
    51. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    52. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2004. "Norms from outside and from inside: an experimental analysis on the governance of local ecosystems," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3-4), pages 229-241, June.
    53. Falk, Armin & Gächter, Simon, 2001. "Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for Labour Relations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    54. Frey, Bruno S, 1993. "Does Monitoring Increase Work Effort? The Rivalry with Trust and Loyalty," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 663-70, October.
    55. Fehr, Ernst & Gächter, Simon, 2001. "Do Incentive Contracts Crowd Out Voluntary Cooperation?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3017, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    56. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Ruchala, Gabriele K., 2008. "Relative rewards within team-based compensation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 141-167, April.
    57. Reeson, Andrew F. & Tisdell, John G., 2008. "Institutions, motivations and public goods: An experimental test of motivational crowding," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 273-281, October.
    58. Michael Kosfeld & Armin Falk, 2006. "The Hidden Costs of Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1611-1630, December.
    59. Burks, Stephen & Carpenter, Jeffrey & Goette, Lorenz, 2009. "Performance pay and worker cooperation: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 458-469, June.
    60. Josef Falkinger, 2000. "A Simple Mechanism for the Efficient Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 247-264, March.
    61. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2003. "Altruistic Punishment in Humans," Microeconomics 0305006, EconWPA.
    62. Ernst Fehr & Bettina Rockenbach, 2003. "Detrimental effects of sanctions on human altruism," Microeconomics 0305007, EconWPA.
    63. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert & Hwang, Sung-Ha, 2009. "Strong reciprocity and team production: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 221-232, August.
    64. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2009-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Raphael Gouvea)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.