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Guilt in voting and public good games

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  • Rothenhäusler, Dominik
  • Schweizer, Nikolaus
  • Szech, Nora

Abstract

This paper analyzes how moral costs affect individual support of morally difficult group decisions. We study a threshold public good game with moral costs. Motivated by recent empirical findings, we assume that these costs are heterogeneous and consist of three parts. The first one is a standard cost term. The second, shared guilt, decreases in the number of supporters. The third hinges on the notion of being pivotal. We analyze equilibrium predictions, isolate the causal effects of guilt sharing, and compare results to standard utilitarian and non-consequentialist approaches. As interventions, we study information release, feedback, and fostering individual moral standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Rothenhäusler, Dominik & Schweizer, Nikolaus & Szech, Nora, 2016. "Guilt in voting and public good games," Working Paper Series in Economics 99, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kitwps:99
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Steffen Huck & Kai A. Konrad, 2005. "Moral Cost, Commitment, and Committee Size," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(4), pages 575-575, December.
    5. Thomas Deckers & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse & Nora Szech, 2016. "Homo Moralis: Personal Characteristics, Institutions, and Moral Decision-Making," CESifo Working Paper Series 5800, CESifo Group Munich.
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    7. Jeroen Weesie & Axel Franzen, 1998. "Cost Sharing in a Volunteer's Dilemma," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 42(5), pages 600-618, October.
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    10. Dominik Rothenhäusler & Nikolaus Schweizer & Nora Szech, 2015. "Institutions, Shared Guilt, and Moral Transgression," CESifo Working Paper Series 5525, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Katharina Huesmann & Achim Wambach, 2015. "Constraints on Matching Markets Based on Moral Concerns," CESifo Working Paper Series 5356, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2001. "A Simple Game-Theoretic Explanation for the Relationship Between Group Size and Helping," Economics Working Paper Archive 417, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jannis Engel & Nora Szech, 2017. "A Little Good is Good Enough: Ethical Consumption, Cheap Excuses, and Moral Self-Licensing," Working Papers 2017-025, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral Decision Making; Committee Decisions; Diffusion of Responsibility; Shared Guilt; Being Pivotal; Division of Labor; Institutions and Morals;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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