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Close your eyes and be nice: Deliberate ignorance behind pro-social choices

Serhiy Kandul and Ilana Ritov

Economics Letters, 2017, vol. 153, issue C, 54-56

Abstract: Avoidance of certain pieces of information, i.e. ignoring the consequences of one’s choices for the well-being of others, has been shown to enhance selfishness. We argue that preferences for uncertainty or deliberate ignorance can also be employed by those seeking to behave pro-socially. We use a dictator game with hidden pay-offs for the dictators and allow participants to reveal their own pay-offs without a cost before making their allocation choice. We observe that a non-trivial fraction of participants do not reveal their pay-offs and choose the allocation that benefits others.

Keywords: Moral wiggle room; Self-image; Deliberate ignorance; Pro-social behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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